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Should you date during your divorce?

On Behalf of | Oct 15, 2021 | Divorce

As you transition away from married life, you may wonder if you should start dating before finalizing the divorce.

It can be tempting to begin a new relationship for a variety of reasons. However, before you start dating, it is important to understand how it will impact your life and the outcome of your divorce.

Legality

Washington is a no-fault divorce state. There are no laws preventing you from dating during your divorce. In most cases, the courts consider you legally separated from your spouse once the divorce process is underway, and you have filed the proper paperwork. So, even if you begin dating before your divorce is final, the court will not hold this against you.

Potential complications

  • Alimony: Although dating during your divorce is not considered adultery, you could face other consequences. For example, if you are seeking alimony, then moving in with a new partner could result in the court diminishing or denying your request.
  • Conflict: Dating a new partner may also cause your former spouse to feel resentment. This can make the negotiation process more difficult. If there is a possibility of having an amicable divorce from your ex, starting a new relationship could make it contentious.
  • Custody: If you and your former spouse have children together, then dating may raise custody issues when drawing up an arrangement. Your ex may have concerns about their children spending time with your new partner.
  • Impact on children: Perhaps one of the biggest factors to consider is your kids. Dating soon after your separation can cause confusion, anger or sadness. Introducing someone new into their lives before they’re ready could cause additional upheaval for them during this major life transition.

Going through a divorce can result in significant changes to your life. Consider how dating will affect your – and your family’s – lives, and make sure that you are fully ready to explore a new relationship.