“Can I date during my divorce?” is a question we get a lot and if you’re wondering the same thing, we get it. Maybe you have been in a loveless marriage for years. Perhaps you’re lonely and have your eyes on someone special. Perhaps you’re anxious to have fun again and feel like dating would be a good distraction. But is dating during your divorce wise?
Every state handles dating during divorce differently. California for example, is a no-fault divorce state and the judges there are not concerned if divorcing spouses date other people while their divorces are pending. Usually, there’s only a concern in a California divorce case if the dating spouse is wasting marital assets on their dates, or if the dating is interfering with their parenting abilities. However, we’re not in California. We’re in Texas, and in the Lone Star State, dating during a divorce is generally frowned upon.
Why Not Date During My Divorce?
The #1 legal reason not to date during a Texas divorce is “adultery.” If a spouse has sexual intercourse with someone other than their husband or wife, it is technically considered “adultery,” even if the couple has split up and the divorce has been filed. Adultery can impact alimony and property division in Texas.
Here’s what you need to know about adultery in a Texas divorce:
- If the court determines that a spouse has sexual relations with someone other than their spouse during the marriage or divorce proceeding, the court can refuse to award alimony to the cheating spouse, even if he or she would have otherwise been entitled to it.
- If adultery can be proven, the court could award a larger share of the marital estate to the innocent spouse, or the spouse who chose not to date during their divorce.
While adultery can impact property division and alimony awards, it generally does not affect child custody or visitation. However, if the dating or “cheating” spouse abandoned the children to spend time with their dates or new romantic partner, it could impact custody.
We generally advise our clients to avoid dating until after the divorce is final because in Texas, there’s often too much to lose. If you still want to date during your divorce, contact our firm so an attorney can help answer your questions and offer valuable tips.