For a number of reasons, the answer is typically “no.” When you date during divorce, it usually complicates the divorce process by potentially affecting alimony, child custody and property division.
Texas doesn’t have any laws that prohibit dating during divorce. However, a new romantic relationship may influence how certain judges view and rule on the case.
If your children don’t like your new partner, are upset about the fact you’re dating or are in any way adversely affected by it, their feelings may reduce your chances of being awarded custody. In a case where a child is old enough to state a preference about custody, the child may choose the other parent because of feeling uncomfortable or awkward around the new partner.
Your ex may try to paint the new partner unfavorably in the eyes of the court. When the court reviews how much time your children spend with adults, the judge may decide the new partner isn’t in the children’s best interests. This along with other factors can also tip the scales for denying joint custody and granting sole custody to your ex.
If you’re living with your new partner, the judge may decide that alimony is unwarranted. Yet, once your divorce is finalized, what happens if the new relationship doesn’t work out? It could be more difficult and costly to reopen an alimony case to pursue spousal maintenance.
Sometimes affairs occur during marriage and become the underlying reason for divorce. This can provide divorce grounds based on adultery. Even when a no-fault divorce is filed, the issue of adultery can influence how a Texas judge rules on divorce. For example, the judge considers the expenses for hotels, vacation trips or gifts for the romantic relationship when determining property awards. As a result, judges often award a lesser amount to the cheating spouse.
Are you considering dating during divorce? Before doing so, discuss the matter with Attorney Channa Borman and find out how it could impact your case. She will be glad to answer your questions and provide you with sound legal advice.