Clients who are going through a divorce often ask if it is okay to date during the divorce. The answer is a resounding “No!” Although it is frustrating not to be able to get on with your life and do what you want to do, there are many reasons why you should not date during the divorce process.
Legal Reason Not to Date During Your Divorce
Texas law allows for a no-fault divorce. This means you do not have to present the court with reasons why your marriage failed. The spouses agree that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and there is no hope for repair.
Texas does still allow for fault grounds for divorce, which means one spouse alleges that the misconduct of the other party caused the break-up of the marriage. Adultery is one of the most commonly used fault grounds.
If adultery can be proved, the property distribution could be affected as well as custody of the children. Judges often give a “disproportionate division” of the assets to the party who is not at fault.
Texas Considers it Adultery Even If the Relationship Begins After Separation
You may argue that you did not begin dating until after the date of separation or even after the divorce was filed. In the eyes of Texas law and family court judges, it may not matter whether the relationship began before or after the separation. They can say “Adultery is adultery. We do not care when the relationship began.” You are considered married until the day the Judge says you are divorced.
How much weight a Judge gives any fault ground for divorce, including adultery, when dividing assets depends on the Judge, the situation, and the circumstances involved. Potentially, you stand to lose, so why risk it?
Emotional Reasons Not to Date During the Divorce
There are many other reasons not to date during a divorce:
- It looks like you are flaunting a relationship in your spouse’s face and have easily found someone to replace them.
- It affects the children. The divorce is difficult for them without being faced with a “new mom” or “new dad.” This may affect how they interact with each parent.
- It could alienate your relatives and leave you without a support group to help you through this difficult time.
Do Not Post on Social Media About Your New Relationship
You may think you can discreetly date and the court will not know about it. Yet, you post on Facebook or other social media about places you have gone and things you have done together. You may even post a photo.
Know this: Anything you post on social media can and will show up in court. Better safe than sorry – don’t do it.