Dating while separated, but not yet divorced is a tricky topic of conversation. Whilst it is natural to want to move on from your marriage and find love or affection elsewhere, legally you are still married to your spouse.
Legally, “dating” means one-on-one social contact with another person. There is no distinction between platonic partners and ones that are romantic or sexual. Unfortunately, the romantic/sexual relationships are the ones that often cause unnecessary complications when one is not yet divorced.
During the divorce process, whilst it is not illegal to date someone else, divorce lawyers are mindful of the effects of the parties or party, dating while the divorce is pending, even if separated, in that it may have the potential to increase both the cost and the stress of the divorce proceedings.
The introduction of someone new, particularly when paraded in front of the spouse and/or children, can enrage your spouse or create suspicion that the relationship started before the parties decided to divorce or separate. Starting a new relationship may affect your partner’s desire to settle amicably.
When it comes to dating during a divorce, one needs to take into consideration that if there are children from your marriage, that children cope differently at different ages, and that children of all ages are likely to be resistant to you dating soon after separating from their other parent. Children may also have concerns about losing a parent during a separation or a divorce. Children of any age should be advised that just because you are dating someone, does not mean that you are trying to replace the other parent. Finally one should only consider introducing your children to another partner after you have been dating that particular person for a long period of time.
Dating while separated is possible, but only if you’re 100% ready to move on from your marriage. Take some time for yourself first. Let yourself heal and get used to your own company before seeking out a new relationship.
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Author – Kate Bailey – Hill