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Can dating during your divorce create problems?

You know that you're tempted. You just shed a 180-lb weight from your life, and the thought of going on a few dates with an interesting new beau who pays you compliments and appears to care about your thoughts and feelings is very tempting. What could it hurt?

You. Dating during your divorce could hurt you and have negative financial and legal repercussions for your future. Consider the following:

-- Dating before you're divorced can adversely affect the ability to settle the issues in your case. If your ex is peeved that you are keeping time with a new guy, he will likely be less willing to concede on matters that are important to you.

-- Seeking spousal support can be more difficult if things get serious quickly with your new guy and the two of you decide to cohabit.

-- Your carefully planned settlement strategy can go up in smoke. For instance, most spousal support awards are not lump sums, although if you need to make a down payment on a new home, you may be depending on your ex agreeing to give you your support that way. Consider how he may balk once he realizes that he will essentially be footing the bill for your new love nest. Resign yourself to living in a rental and getting monthly deposits instead.

-- Your property distribution can be affected tremendously. Do you know that funds received as part of a property settlement are not taxed as income, but spousal support is? So if you were hoping to receive a larger chunk of the marital proceeds in settlement in lieu of waiving spousal support, your ex doesn't have to agree to these terms. Yet if you move in with your boyfriend, your ex can cease paying spousal support.

-- Taking on a new love interest can create custody difficulties during a divorce. It's natural to feel threatened by your "replacement," or worry that the new guy won't treat the kids well. Suddenly, your love life has caused parenting roadblocks where there had been none.

Before moving on, make sure that you discuss your dating plans with your family law attorney to make sure that your rights are fully protected.

Source: Huffington Post, "7 Reasons NOT To Date During Your Divorce," Karen Covy, Sep. 29, 2016

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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