Dating During Divorce in California: Is it Okay?

When people divorce, they have a lot of questions running through their minds. They wonder how their actions can impact their divorce case and reasonably so. For instance, moving out of the family residence can impact child custody.

On the other hand, maxing out joint credit cards can be considered “wasteful dissipation of marital assets” and it can affect the divorce settlement. Posting the wrong things on social media can influence child custody and spousal support, and so on.

Given the above examples, it makes sense why some people wonder if dating during divorce would impact issues revolving around spousal support, the divorce settlement, and child custody. Read on as we discuss dating during a California divorce.

California is a No-Fault Divorce State

In reality, dating during divorce can impact a case but it depends on the state. In some states, dating during separation and pending divorce is considered “adultery” and can impact alimony (spousal support), but in California, not so much.

California is a no-fault divorce state, so judges are not interested in learning why a couple’s marriage is irretrievably broken. All that matters to the judge is that the marriage is over.

In most situations, it’s perfectly okay to date while one’s divorce is pending in California. However, there are some rules to abide by. If a spouse is irresponsible about their dating behaviors, it can impact child custody and the divorce settlement.

Advice on dating during a California divorce:

  • You may want to discuss it with your spouse first. If he or she finds out that you’re dating and it angers them, it could turn a friendly, collaborative divorce into a contested divorce, which can be a lot more costly.
  • If you have kids with your spouse, schedule date nights for when your spouse has the children.
  • As far as your relationship status on Facebook, you may want to delay changing it to “single” until your divorce is final. If you don’t want prospects seeing “married” as your status, Facebook has an option where it says nothing about your relationship status.
  • When going out on dates, avoid places where your spouse frequents.
  • Be honest with your dates about your pending divorce.
  • Do not rush into another relationship! When people remarry when the ink has barely dried on the divorce papers, there’s a higher chance that the relationship won’t work out.
  • If you have children, don’t introduce your dates to your children until: 1) the divorce is final and 2) you are in a committed relationship.
  • Be careful of spending marital assets on your dates. If you use marital funds to pay for fancy dinners, hotel rooms, weekend getaways, jewelry, etc., it can impact your divorce settlement. Ask an attorney about how to date wisely so it doesn’t affect property division.

We hope you found this information helpful. If you’re looking for a lawyer, contact Burch Shepard Family Law Group to get started!