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Dating
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The question depends on a few things.  First, are you divorced or separated?  Second, if not, have you considered all the legal and emotional consequences to date before divorce.  Third, if you're divorced, have you had time to emotionally process your break up?

Dating before divorce

Emotionally

There are numerous emotional aspects to consider when dating prior to divorce.  Most important, depending on the situation, you may not have had enough time to adequately heal before beginning a dating relationship.  It's hard to get to know someone new when you're still getting to know your new single self (especially if you're not actually single yet). 

Also, your recent break up may hinder your new relationship.  It would be a big disappointment to find someone you really like, only to have your new relationship damaged by your divorce. 

Even if you think you can handle it and your relationship is "mostly" unaffected, your new dating partner may feel otherwise.  It's important to be upfront about the situation without venting too much about divorce issues.  Unfortunately, the closer you get to someone, the more you'll both naturally share about your lives (good and bad). 

Since divorce is a pretty big deal both emotionally and financially in anyone's life, it's probable that you'll want to share a lot of the details after awhile.  Though it may seem harmless, your new dating partner may begin to get frustrated and possibly lose interest.


Based on the length of your separtion and circumstances, you may be emotionally ready to pursue a relationship prior to divorce.  You should be upfront with your new dating partner and also consider any possible problems that may arise if you choose to move forward.  Some spouses choose to form a friendship in place of a physical relationship until their divorce is final for both legal and emotional reasons.  

A counselor or therapist may help.  Either could help you process your emotions related to your separation/divorce in order to assist you in moving forward in your life and new relationships. 

Legally

Unless you live in a "true" no-fault state, most states consider it adultery if, prior to the commencement of the separation, dating began or a spouse had a dating relationship with the same person for which he/she now has a sexual or physical relationship.  Consult with an attorney in your state for legal guidance.

However, forming a relationship with someone while divorcing can affect the overall outcome if a bitter, soon-to-be ex decides to pursue more support and/or more favorable division of marital property or attorney's fees.  This could cause your case to end up in court.   If it goes to court, in regard to support, the judge will be mostly focused on either spouse's ability of support.  However, while an extra marital relationship may not seem to directly affect the judges decision, it may add some relevance and circumstances to the case that may influence the process and judges overall decision.  It depends a great deal on the laws of the state in which you file, the judge and circumstances of the case.

Also, if applicable, it could terminate your alimony or potential alimony if your new partner and you cohabitate.  And, if you have a legal separation agreement, check to make sure it does not have any specifications regarding new dating relationships.

This is why it's very important to have a legal representative review your case and give you legal advice specific to your situation. 

DMK (been there, done that advice) -  It's best to avoid physical relationships with your spouse or anyone outside the marriage while separated in order to get your divorce efficiently finalized with the best possible settlement outcome for both spouses. 

Dating after divorce

You're divorced or separated and you're wondering if you should wait for a specific period of time before you start dating. There are numerous answers that can be found from multiple sources like friends, family and the internet.

Depending on your source and reasons to date, the answers can either be helpful or detrimental to getting you through your final Stages of Divorce in order to be emotionally ready to date.   The final stages include letting go and moving forward in your life which is often the best time to begin a new dating chapter in your life.   The Stages of Divorce are extremely important to process in order to achieve the best "emotional settlement", as well as, to have a successful dating relationship in the future.

Approximately 67% of second marriages and 73% of third marriages fail in the United States. It's easy to see that many individuals could benefit from more emotional healing following a divorce prior to entering into a new relationship.  A new dating partner should not simply substitute for a former spouse.

While the statistics may give good insight into possible pitfalls of dating too soon. Sometimes, all you need is a little perspective.  In the DMK article, How Long Should You Wait To Date?, we have answered the question based on numerous sources and reasons.  While no one can tell you if you are ready, but you; sometimes multiple perspectives can help.  We listed sources like:

The most important thing to remember is that before you find someone else, you should rediscover "yourself" as an individual.  Set new goals, start a new hobby and allow your new, single-self to emerge. This takes time, but is better for you and your future relationships.

-OurDMK.com



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