By the time the divorce action gets entered into court, and the proceedings begin, it is not uncommon that one, or even both, of the spouses are either engaged in a new (or sometimes pre-existing) relationship, or at the very least they have started to “get out there again” and going on dates. Although most spouses who are getting divorced are separated, many wonder if having romantic and intimate relationships with other people will negatively impact their case in court. After all, they are still married, and many people become concerned that the judge may find this to be a reason to rule in favor of their soon-to-be ex spouse.
The answer to this question is complicated, because while there is no written rule of whether or not dating is allowed, their can be many ramifications that come as a result of the fact that you are dating, and so it is important to be mindful of the impact these relationships may have. For example, judges are not known to punish a spouse for dating other people, especially after they have become physically separated from their spouse. But, because you are still married, it is very likely that your current spouse will take some issue with this – even if they themselves are dating! Some go as far as accusing the “dating spouse” to have begun the relationship before the divorce was started, which would be an affair, and not look good to a judge.
Some rules of thumb to follow revolve around how and when you should go about dating. For instance, as mentioned earlier, it is more appropriate for you to start dating after you and your spouse have physically separated. Not only for how it would look with respect to your marriage with your spouse, but it helps keep it away from the children, who would not benefit in any way from witnessing it, nor should they meet your new person. Keep in mind that divorce is an emotionally taxing process and experience, and it may be wise to just refrain from engaging in an emotional relationship until things are more calm, stable, and when you are able to confidently and comfortably re-enter the “dating game”.