Although it may be tempting to begin a new relationship while you are going through
a divorce. It would be best to hold off until your divorce is finalized for a myriad of reasons; such as the increase in cost and stress of the divorce. Dating a new person during an already stress-filled tumultuous time, could cause more tension between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse; resulting in your spouse becoming angry and vindictive, lengthening the process and raising legal fees.
In many cases the interaction and interrelationship of a child, with any person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests, is a determining factor that is considered in determining the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities of children. If you have a new girlfriend or boyfriend so soon after separation, or during the pendency of your divorce proceedings, you may be seen as unstable and that your priorities are misaligned. If you decide to introduce the significant other to your children before the divorce is over or very soon thereafter, you look self-centered and like you aren’t putting your children’s best interests first. The way you are perceived by the court is very important.
A domestic relations court, most likely, will not penalize someone who begins dating before the divorce is finalized; however, your new “friend” could be subject to deposition by opposing counsel as well as subpoenaed to testify at trial. This conduct could result in a lot of unnecessary aggravation and costs. Further, the conduct of the parties during the marriage, as well as actions during the pendency of the case may be used to determine maintenance and awarding of attorney fees.
For more information regarding this topic, or to schedule an appointment with Joseph Stafford, call 216-241-1074.