When we help people through their divorces at Stanley-Wallace Law, we understand that they often just want to get on with their lives. That’s why a lot of our clients ask if they can date other people while their divorce is still pending.
The short answer is probably – but it’s not a good idea. There’s no legal requirement that you refrain from dating other people while you and your spouse are still going through a divorce. However, it’s important to consider the number of ways that dating can impact your divorce proceedings.
Here’s everything you need to know about dating during a divorce in Louisiana.
Dating during divorce is not adultery
In some states, and indeed in Louisiana in the recent past, having sexual relations with someone else before your divorce is official would technically be considered adultery. This means that your ex could use evidence of your relationship to get an immediate divorce, or get more favorable rulings at your expense.
Fortunately, that’s not the case anymore. If you and your spouse are living separately, and have filed for divorce, then you are technically “separated” under the eyes of the law. As a result, dating someone else does not count as adultery.
However, it’s important to remember that, if you’re filing for a no-fault divorce, there is a minimum amount of time before your divorce can be official:
- 180 days under most circumstances
- 365 days if you and your spouse have a minor child together
So if you start dating as soon as your petition is filed, there might still be a significant period of time before your divorce is official. And during that time, there are a number of ways that your new relationship could impact certains aspects of your divorce proceedings.
3 ways dating can impact your divorce proceedings
Here are 3 of the most common issues that could potentially arise if you date while going through a divorce:
- Spousal support: In most cases, spousal support or alimony payments are calculated based on need. If you and your new partner move in together, or otherwise indicate that your relationship is getting serious, this could impact the court’s judgment of how much financial support you need from your ex.
- Custody: Bringing a new partner into the mix can sometimes upset the custody balance. For example, if your child doesn’t get along with your new partner, they might want to spend more time with their other parent. In other circumstances, dating a new person can make your spouse fight harder for custody of your children.
- Relations between you and your ex: Emotions can run high when one spouse starts dating during a divorce, especially if they view it as too soon after your relationship ended. Divorces are generally easier and quicker when you and your ex have an amicable, or at least civil, relationship, and you avoid bitter fights and legal battles. No one’s trying to tell you to put your life on hold, but it might be worth considering how your personal life will affect your relationship with your spouse while you’re going through a divorce.
Contact a divorce attorney in Slidell
Divorces can be messy, and new complications like dating can arise all the time. That’s why it’s crucial to have an experienced divorce attorney by your side to offer legal advice and help you through the process. Contact Stanley-Wallace Law today to schedule a consultation.