If you live in California and you’re contemplating a divorce, you may have questions about dating while a divorce is pending. It’s perfectly normal to wonder if it’s okay to date during a divorce, especially since some states view it as adultery. In fact, some states frown so heavily on dating during a divorce that it can impact alimony (spousal support) awards.
What does California law say about dating during a divorce? If you decide to see someone while your divorce is still pending for six or more months, will it be considered cheating and can it impact spousal support, property division, or child custody, or all the above?
California is a No-Fault Divorce State
While some states frown upon dating during a divorce and punish dating spouses, that is not the case in California. As a no-fault divorce state, California judges are not concerned with spouses who date while their divorces are pending in the courts. The family courts have so much on their plates already, they don’t have the time or interest in hearing about a spouse who signed up for a dating app or started dating someone after the separation.
Generally, dating or having sexual relations with someone during a California divorce are non-issues and will not impact the divorce. However, it is important not to waste marital assets on a “new friend.”
For example, if a husband started dating a new woman while his divorce was pending and he bought her $15,000 of plastic surgery with marital funds, he could be penalized and his portion of the settlement could be reduced by the $15,000 he spent on his girlfriend’s cosmetic surgery. So, make sure you don’t tap into marital funds when dating.
If you plan on dating during a divorce, here are some tips:
- Do not change your status on Facebook from married to “single” until your divorce is finalized.
- Be discreet. Avoid sharing posts on Facebook and Instagram of you and your dates.
- Avoid taking your dates to places that your spouse frequents regularly.
- Be honest about your marital status with your dates.
- If you have minor children, avoid dating on your nights with the kids. Instead, wait until your spouse has the children.
- Avoid introducing any of your dates to your children until after the divorce is final and you’re in a committed relationship. Depending on your children’s ages, you may want to take a slow approach when it comes to introductions (this especially applies to older or mature children).
We hope you found this information helpful. If you’re looking to file for divorce, we invite you to contact our firm to schedule a case evaluation.