Generally, there is no law against dating during a separation or child custody battle. But if your spouse or former spouse discovers that you are dating, they may become more difficult to negotiate with. This could turn a cooperative relationship into a contentious one.
You also have to consider the safety and health of your children. They may not be ready to meet your new romantic partner if you have recently separated from their other parent. Even if it is legal for you to date, it may not be wise for you to introduce this person to your children right away.
Dating and Separation
You can begin to date once you are legally separated. Separation does not require any legal filings—you just have to live in a separate residence from your spouse with the intent to end your marriage.
If you jump the gun and start dating before you’re legally separated, this can have negative consequences for your divorce and alimony negotiations. If you would otherwise have a right to receive alimony, you could lose this right if you commit adultery.
Dating shortly after your separation is also a tricky area. Your spouse could argue that you were seeing someone else before your separation, even if it isn’t true. This could be used against you in your divorce and alimony proceedings.
Dating and Child Custody
Your former spouse may be upset to discover that you are dating or bringing a new partner around your children. They may try to use this information against you during a child custody case, but courts will generally not penalties you for dating someone else.
Just because you can date doesn’t mean you should introduce this person to your children during a custody dispute. Custody issues are much easier to resolve when the parents are able to negotiate their issues and compromise. Bringing a new romantic partner around your children is a sensitive issue that could cause your former spouse to become hostile, ending your negotiations.
When this happens, a judge will have to decide your child custody issues. Your legal fees will probably increase, and the whole situation becomes more stressful.
It’s usually a good idea to be cautious about dating and introducing new partners to your children during a custody battle. Talk to your family law attorney if you have concerns about how dating will impact your divorce or child custody case.
King Law Offices is a full-service law firm with an outstanding team of professionals who work diligently, creatively, and compassionately on behalf of our clients each day. We serve the Upstate of South Carolina and Western North Carolina. Call 888-748-KING (5464) today for a consultation with one of our dedicated family law attorneys.