What Do I Do If My Spouse Starts Dating During Our Divorce?

If you’re getting a divorce and you’ve recently learned that your spouse has already resumed dating and you’re still legally married, you may have a lot of questions right about now. “Can my spouse do that? Will it impact child custodyor property division? Can they lose their right to spousal support? Is it even legal or is it adultery?” are the types of questions people in your situation typically ask, and reasonably so! Read on as we answer these pressing questions.

For starters, California is a no-fault divorce state which means spouses can file for divorce without having to give a reason or point the finger at the other spouse. All that matters to the court is that one spouse wants out; they don’t need to cite adultery, abandonment, mental illness, incarceration, or cruel and inhuman punishment on their divorce petition as many states have required in the past.

Does the Judge Really Care?

In California divorces, for the most part judges are not concerned about adultery or spouses who begin dating before the ink has dried on the divorce papers. It’s a non-issue, partly because our overloaded courts have more important matters to attend to.

Unless your spouse is wasting marital assets on their paramour or neglecting your children because of the affair, it’s unlikely that the dating will have any effect on the outcome of your divorce. So, what do you do now that you know your spouse is dating?

If your spouse has begun dating again, you can’t control what he or she is doing, but you can control how you react to it. Generally, dating during a divorce is acceptable in California, but that doesn’t mean it can’t impact a divorce because it can.

Here’s our advice to you:

  • Consider talking to your spouse about it and reaching an agreement on how you’re both going to handle dating during divorce.
  • Ask your spouse to be discreet about their dating and to keep what they do with their dates off of social media.
  • Consider dating yourself and if you do, be discreet about it.
  • Make an agreement with your spouse that if either of you date, you are honest with your dates about your pending divorce.
  • Make sure that you and your spouse don’t introduce any dates to your children until the divorce is final and the relationship has become “exclusive.”
  • Agree not to bring dates to places you both frequent regularly.
  • If you believe your spouse is squandering marital assets on their new boyfriend or girlfriend, bring it to your attorney’s attention right away as this can impact your settlement.

For all of your divorce needs, contact Burch Shepard Family Law Group.

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