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The Dangers of Dating During Divorce

Posted by J. Benjamin Stevens | Oct 19, 2015 | 0 Comments

It is not at all uncommon for couples coming out of a destructive relationship to want to begin dating again, searching for a new and hopefully better match. While this is understandable, it can prove risky in the context of a South Carolina divorce. Though no one can control your actions as a consenting adult, there are some very real reasons why it is worth thinking twice before jumping back into the dating pool before your divorce is finalized. Keep reading to learn more about the dangers of dating during divorce.

One of the dangers of dating during divorce is that your spouse may believe the dating began before the divorce and that you have engaged in an extramarital affair. This is especially true when the dating begins quickly after a divorce, leading not only your spouse, but also possibly the judge presiding over your case, to question the timeline for your new relationship. Even the appearance of an affair can make an already tense divorce worse and potentially harm your financial standing.

Dating during divorce is especially dangerous in relation to issues of alimony and child custody. If you are requesting alimony from your spouse, your fidelity (or lack thereof) are relevant matters, particularly in South Carolina where adultery is an absolute bar to alimony. If you begin dating during the divorce, it becomes much easier for your spouse to accuse you of engaging in an affair, which could kill your chances of collecting spousal support.

In terms of child custody, dating itself isn't the problem, it's how dating may impact your kids. If your divorce has only just begun and you are already exposing your children to a new romantic partner, including possible overnight stays at your home, it will likely raise serious concerns with most judges and cause them to question the stability of your home and whether you truly have the best interest of your children in mind.

Finally, dating can derail your divorce in an obvious way: it can lead to jealousy on the part of your spouse. What may have started as a smooth divorce could quickly become contentious, with your former spouse hurt and shocked to see you moving on so quickly. In these situations, it's not uncommon for the other party to lash out and attempt to hurt you financially, just as they have been hurt emotionally. This can lead to legal fights that need not have occurred, raising not only the stress level of the divorce, but ultimately, the financial cost as well.

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J. Benjamin Stevens

Senior Partner


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