Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C.
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Dating During and After the Divorce

When you are going through a divorce, you may wonder whether you should be dating and if you do how it will impact your case. Once you are separated, even though the divorce is not yet final, you are permitted to date without it being considered grounds for adultery in the legal arena. While adultery is a factor in the consideration of an award of alimony, it refers to relationships that began prior to a separation not after. Once a divorce complaint is filed you are clearly separated and for some that may now involve the choice to date. If you are entitled to support or alimony, you may date both during the divorce or afterwards. As long as you do not cohabitate, it will not affect your alimony award. Cohabitation can be found even if the other person has their own residence if they spend significant overnights with you.

Whether you choose to date during or after the divorce is a personal choice. It is also a personal choice as to whether you want to disclose it to your former spouse. Sometimes it may help your former spouse accept that the relationship is over and in other cases it may add such fuel to the fire that it makes an amicable settlement impossible. In the latter case, you may want to wait until the divorce is final. If you have children with your former spouse, you should consider disclosing it to them at the point that you are ready to introduce your children to that person. Oftentimes, this is where conflict occurs. It is only natural for your spouse to have concerns about some third party around their children that they do not know, especially if this person is going to spend significant time with your children. If you really want avoid litigation in custody, you may want to provide as much information or even an introduction to your former spouse depending on the circumstances in order to avoid unnecessary litigation in custody. If you consider how you would want to be treated if you were in the situation, it may help to guide you in how to approach the situation with your former spouse.

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