Contact Us Today! 417-582-2690


Dos and Don’ts of Dating Before Divorce is Finalized

Posted by Bruce Galloway | Jun 21, 2023 | 0 Comments

The end of a marriage can be a taxing period in one's life. Amidst the turmoil, some individuals may contemplate dating before their divorce is final.

While the decision to pursue new romantic relationships during this time is a personal one, it is crucial to be aware of certain aspects to minimize conflicts and ensure a healthy transition.

There are some considerations worth keeping in mind should you decide to date while the divorce is ongoing.

dating during divorce

How Dating Before a Divorce is Final Can Impact Divorce Proceedings

While it is not illegal to date before the finalization of a divorce, it is important to be aware of the potential legal complications that can arise.

One significant concern is the accusation of having an affair. In some divorce cases, if one party can prove that the other engaged in an extramarital relationship, it can impact matters such as child custody, spousal support, and property division.

Allegations of infidelity may affect the court's perception of a person's character and could potentially influence decisions regarding the division of assets and child custody arrangements. Ask your attorney how they believe the judge will view post separation dating. Many judges discount such dating as common. Be mindful, though, that a judge may view your dating suspiciously if it occurs close in time to the date you and your spouse separated. The judge may wonder whether you engaged in pre-separation infidelity and thereby ended the marriage. If so, the judge may alter your property distribution and may even alter an award for spousal support.

Therefore, it is crucial to approach dating during the divorce process with caution. Consider the potential legal implications that dating while married may have on the overall outcome of your divorce settlement.

Separation Agreement

Dating before the finalization of a divorce can potentially impact a separation agreement. In many cases, couples may draft a separation agreement to outline important matters such as child custody, visitation schedules, spousal support, and property division.

dating while married

However, when one party begins dating before the divorce is officially finalized, it can introduce a new dynamic and potentially complicate matters. The introduction of a new romantic partner may raise questions about the financial and emotional support being provided, and it may affect the perceived needs and expectations outlined in the separation agreement.

It is crucial to review the terms of the separation agreement with an attorney and consider any necessary revisions or discussions if you decide to begin dating before the divorce is finalized.

Open communication and potential modifications to the agreement can help address any potential conflicts and ensure that both parties' interests are properly addressed in light of new relationships. Be mindful that your spouse may feel hurt or betrayed. You do not want those feelings to get in the way of negotiations that may lead to settling your case.

Minimizing Conflict

Dating during divorce proceedings can potentially exacerbate existing conflicts and create additional hurdles in the process. Even uncontested divorces might encounter friction if one party dives too quickly into dating.

after uncontested divorce

To avoid unnecessary complications, consider the following strategies:

  • Communication: Maintaining open and transparent communication with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse is key. Discussing your intentions and concerns about dating can help mitigate misunderstandings and potential conflicts. Honesty and empathy go a long way in promoting a smoother divorce process. By expressing your intentions clearly, you can establish a level of understanding and cooperation, reducing the likelihood of confrontations or disputes.
  • Legal Advice: Seek professional advice from an experienced divorce attorney who can guide you through the legal implications of dating before the divorce is finalized. They can help you navigate any potential legal challenges and offer insights specific to your situation.
  • Privacy and Discretion: While sharing the news of a new relationship may be tempting, exercising caution and discretion is crucial during this delicate phase. Discretion protects your privacy and helps minimize emotional stress and conflict between you and your former spouse. Respect each other's boundaries and refrain from flaunting new relationships on social media platforms or in public settings to maintain a respectful environment.
  • Emotional Preparation: It is essential to prepare yourself emotionally for the challenges dating during divorce can bring. Divorce is already a period of heightened emotions, and adding new relationships can intensify those feelings. Take time to reflect on your readiness to start dating, consider the emotional impact it may have on you and your former spouse, and be prepared to address any unresolved emotions.

Children Involvement

When children are involved, introducing new romantic partners during a divorce can significantly impact their emotional well-being. Prioritizing their needs and minimizing disruption should be a top consideration.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Emotional Impact: Divorce is challenging for children, and introducing new partners too soon may add further emotional strain. Children need time to adjust and heal from the changes in their family structure. Engage in open and age-appropriate conversations to gauge their feelings and concerns. Listen to their perspectives and provide reassurance that their well-being is a top priority. Consider seeking professional help, such as therapy or counseling, to support your children through the divorce process and help them navigate their emotions.
    communication during divorce
  • Stability and Routine: Maintaining stability and routine is crucial for children during the divorce process. Introducing new romantic partners too early may disrupt their sense of security. Focus on creating a stable and nurturing environment for your children until the divorce is finalized. Ensure that their daily routines, school activities, and time with each parent are maintained as much as possible to provide them with stability during this challenging time.
  • Timing and Introductions: Introducing a new partner to your children should only occur when you are confident that the relationship is stable and has long-term potential. Rushing into introductions can confuse and overwhelm children, especially if they are still adjusting to the changes brought about by the divorce. Take the time to establish a strong foundation with your new partner and assess the impact it may have on your children. When the time is right, introduce your new partner gradually and allow your children to form their own opinions and connections over time.
  • Know Who They Are: Always investigate your dating partner by doing simple online searches. Search your state database for criminals and sexual predators. Missouri's sex offender registry is located on the Missouri Highway Patrol website. In addition to checking the state's registry for the state in which you reside, also check the registry of the state your dating partner resided previously. Then check the national registry. Finally, if your state has a court-based website, check the court's date base by using your dating partner's first and last name. Missouri's court offer Missouri

Additional Factors to Consider

  • Emotional Healing: Divorce is a significant life event that often requires emotional healing and self-reflection. Take the time to focus on your personal growth and well-being before entering a new relationship. Engage in activities that bring you joy, seek support from friends and family, and consider professional counseling to work through any unresolved emotions from the divorce.
  • Self-Care and Boundaries: Prioritize self-care during this transitional period. Set healthy boundaries for yourself and your relationships, ensuring that you have the time and space to heal, reflect, and grow. Be mindful of your emotional well-being and ensure that new relationships align with your values and goals.

Navigating the dating world while going through a divorce can be complex and emotionally challenging.

By minimizing conflict, considering the involvement of children, and reflecting on additional factors, individuals can approach dating with greater awareness and sensitivity.

It is crucial to prioritize open communication, seek legal advice, exercise discretion, and prioritize the emotional well-being of the children involved.

Remember, taking the time to heal, rebuild, and find personal fulfillment is essential. Still, it is equally important to approach dating during divorce with care and compassion for all parties involved.

By navigating this phase thoughtfully, individuals can create a solid foundation for their future relationships and ensure a smoother transition into the next chapter of their lives.

About the Author

Bruce Galloway

Bruce Galloway is a trial and appellate attorney who practices family law and personal injury on behalf of victims of family violence, including domestic violence, sexual abuse, and child abuse and neglect. He works on other family law cases such as divorce and custody matters. His heroes are gr...


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!

If you need to talk to someone about legal matters involving divorce, custody, domestic violence, child abuse, or other family law issues, please reach out to us right away. Our family law attorneys are ready to listen and advise you on your legal options. Our offices are located right here on the square in downtown Ozark, MO. “The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.”

Bruce Galloway LLC
Mon: 08:00am - 05:00pm
Tue: 08:00am - 05:00pm
Wed: 08:00am - 05:00pm
Thu: 08:00am - 05:00pm
Fri: 08:00am - 05:00pm