If you’ve been in a lonely, loveless, abusive, or hollow marriage, you may have been waiting for the day you could finally date again, and understandably so. As someone going through a divorce, it’s only natural to ask, “Can I date while my divorce is pending in the court?”
If you were in a state, such as New York or California, we might say, “Sure, go ahead and date during your divorce but be discreet,” however, this is Texas and unfortunately, it’s not as simple here as it is in some states. While you may be broken up for good, dating during a Texas divorce can certainly complicate matters, which we explain below.
Dating During a TX Divorce: Is it Adultery?
Texas is called a “mixed state,” which means people can get divorced on fault or no-fault grounds. If someone wanted to get a fault-based divorce on the ground of adultery in Texas, they can. That being said, the Texas courts can consider dating during divorce “adultery,” even if the couple has separated and is living apart.
If you’re getting a divorce and you have sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse while you’re separated, but still technically married, it could impact:
- Property division
- Child custody (in extreme cases when the spouse abandons their children to conduct the affair)
While it’s rare for adultery to impact child custody in a Texas divorce, it can have a significant impact on property division and alimony. But what is “adultery” exactly? It’s more than merely going on a dinner date or exchanging racy texts or direct messages on Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram. Under Texas law, a spouse commits adultery when they have voluntary sexual intercourse with someone other than their husband or wife.
“How does an innocent spouse prove adultery?” They can prove infidelity through circumstantial evidence, such as emails, texts, bank or credit card statements, photos, and videos.
If you’re anxious to date during your Texas divorce, our advice is to hold off until your divorce is final. We’d rather say, “Go for it,” but you put a lot at risk when you do. It’s better to err on the side of caution and start dating after your divorce has been finalized in the courts.