Divorcing clients are often lonely and stressed out, and they may be longing to meet someone new, feel desirable again, and just have fun.
So, many clients decide that just one date can’t hurt.
Unfortunately, there is more that you shouldn’t do than should, but first let’s clarify what is meant by “dating.” Legally, “dating” means one-on-one social contact with another person.Marital misconduct can encompass a wide variety of actions, including adultery and cruelty.During the proceedings, the fact that a dating spouse is already separated will be noted, but that does not necessarily mean the circumstances of the new relationship will not be considered.In addition, in some states the new relationship may be considered in the division of property or alimony determinations, so the dating spouse may not get as much as they want out of the divorce depending on the new partner's financial circumstances.This is especially true if the dating spouse begins cohabitating with their new partner during the divorce process.There is no distinction between platonic contacts and ones that are romantic or sexual, although from a practical standpoint, the romantic/sexual relationships are the ones that draw scrutiny and cause complications.The reason divorce lawyers counsel against dating while the divorce is pending, even if separated, is that it has the potential to increase both the cost and the stress of the divorce trial. Judges, however, rarely punish someone who begins dating – sexually or otherwise – once they have physically separated from their spouse.For example, the judge might disapprove of the dating spouse's behavior and develop a bias against them.While such a bias is ostensibly unacceptable in the U. legal system, judges are human and biases are natural and even probable in some instances. Other than perhaps the death of a family member, the severing of what was expected to be a lifelong union is about as emotionally crippling as any life as experience an individual will ever survive. If one of us knows they want out, what’s the point of a separation in the first place?Even when the divorce is amicable, as mine was over a decade ago, the massive weight of the realization that the world you had built with your soon-to-be-ex and the end of your journey with a person who at some point was the closest person in the world to you is downright smothering. Are we supposed to see each other a certain number of times a week? Or do you tell them that the marriage is over, no chance of being mended and that the paperwork is simply a formality? I recall going through that period, knowing full well that the marriage was over and that, indeed, the paperwork was just the final punctuation.