Life does not stop after divorce, it begins anew!
While I was divorcing my ex, we were also living in the same house, certainly not by my choice, but he refused to leave and I was advised not to leave either since children were in the house. This trend is being seen more and more in divorcing homes across America. This is not wise, in my humble opinion since people that no longer want to be together are forced to.
In my situation there was blatant anger between us, and it was beyond uncomfortable; it was also dangerous at times. He was a ticking time bomb when things were amicable, during that frenetic time he was psychotic. The police were called to my house several times and the antagonism between us was palatable.
By the time the divorce was finalized, I had been sleeping in my own room for close to three years. I was definitely ready to meet someone again, for the grieving process of the marriage had happened long before the decision to divorce even took place. In truth I did meet someone two months shy of the final judgement of divorce. He was an old friend I had reconnected with and though we had instant chemistry, we lived in different states, which made our time together infrequent until after the divorce. Upon reflection, this was probably a good thing, because of the ex I was dealing with. In fact, he and I are still together and going strong.
Nonetheless, though it has worked out for me, my advice to those of you thinking about dating during divorce is ...DON'T! You may think that you are free to start a new relationship once the decision is made to separate or divorce, but it would be wise to hold off on the dating scene until after your divorce is finalized for a number of tactical, legal, and emotional reasons.
Tactical reasons not to date before divorce
Emotions are extremely raw during a divorce. When you start seeing someone else, it is like rubbing salt into your soon-to-be-ex’s wounds. He will most likely react to the fact that you are dating by making your life hell during the divorce process. He may seek revenge to compensate for the anger, hurt, and embarrassment that he feels you have caused him.
Even if your ex was the cause of the divorce by having numerous affairs during your marriage, he will not think that you are justified in seeing someone new at this time. All he will focus on is that he has been wronged and will want to seek justice anyway he can. He may try to even the score by fighting for custody of the children or on how to split the marital estate. He will also tell your children and everyone else who will listen that YOU are having an affair. And, truth be told, after all you most likely went through, you do not want your kids to think you were the sole cause or give him the opportunity to be the victim.
Legal reasons not to date before divorce
As far as the courts are concerned, you are still legally married until the divorce is finalized. In states that recognize fault in a divorce case, dating during divorce can be viewed as adultery. This can affect the outcome of your divorce as far as spousal support and the eventual property settlement goes.
Even if you have been separated from your husband and are living apart, dating during your divorce can be used to help prove marital misconduct during your marriage. It can look like you have questionable morals, even if you were the perfect wife during your marriage.
Living with someone can impact the level of support ordered
Another thing you may want to think about if you are considering living with your boyfriend is that it will affect the level of support you may eventually receive. Even if you ultimately get custody of your children, child support levels may be lowered because you are living with someone and sharing the expenses.
It can also have a big impact on whether or not you will receive alimony and how much you receive. This can even apply to temporary support order, because once again, you are sharing the expenses with someone else. It would be a shame to forfeit your future support on a relationship that may not last.
The bottom line is that if you date during your divorce, you are giving your soon-to-be-ex a big advantage. Don't sacrifice your future on a new relationship. Wait until after the divorce is finalized before you start to date.
Emotional reasons not to date during divorce
When you are separated or going through a divorce, the attention that a boyfriend shows you can feel like a slice of heaven and boost your self-esteem. While he may serve as a distraction and help you avoid some of the pain of your divorce, you will eventually need to face those emotions.
While it feels good to be wanted, it's unlikely that you're emotionally ready to deal with a new relationship. You will still have to deal with all the issues that caused the breakup of your marriage and make peace with the fact that it's really over, that is if you haven’t already.
What if he really is the one for you?
When you are going through a divorce, you're usually not in a mental state to make permanent choices. Studies have shown that the first relationship that a person enters into after a divorce has little chance of long-term survival and will rarely end in marriage.
So what should you do if you believe that this new man is the one you should have married in the first place? Make life easier on you and him both by postponing the relationship until the divorce is finalized.
If he truly is as special as you think, then he will be willing to wait. Once all the papers are signed, you can resume the relationship and see if it still feels the same. If it doesn't, you have saved both of you a lot of heartache.
Considering Dating During Divorce Anyway?
What if you are determined to continue the relationship anyway? I would recommend you talk frankly with your lawyer. Your new relationship might not have much bearing in your divorce if you have had a long separation from your husband, don't live in a fault state, and your divorce is uncontested. Even then, follow your lawyer's suggestions and keep the relationship under wraps and out of the public eye, such as social media. Even though it may seem like your divorce is taking forever, you owe it to yourself, and to your children, not to stir up the dust.
Help support us by clicking on our links at no cost to you. Thank you xo
Has been writing most of her adult life on various topics important to women and children. If you are contemplating divorce, then you should check out her e-book.