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Be Wary of Dating During Divorce

Posted on September 15, 2015 in Divorce

dating, dating during divorce, Lombard Family Law AttorneysIf you are going through a divorce, you probably feel that your marriage was over a long time ago. The legal process of divorce may represent little more than a necessary formality so that you can get on with your life. As the proceedings continue, however, you may be inclined to begin a new romantic relationship, one in which you finally feel appreciated and empowered for the first time in quite a while. Of course, you have every right to seek happiness in your post-divorce situation, but until your divorce is finalized, it is probably a good idea to stay out of the dating scene.

Legal Considerations

From the standpoint of Illinois divorce law, there is nothing preventing you from pursuing a new relationship once the process of divorce has begun. If you choose to date, you will need be careful about what assets you may be using to fund your activities, though. Using your own money is fine, but inappropriately spending marital funds prior to the property division process may be considered dissipation, and you may be required to pay it back.

It bears pointing out, however, that there is still a law in the state of Illinois that makes adultery a misdemeanor criminal offense. Until your divorce decree has been granted, you are still legally married, and, although prosecution is probably unlikely, sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse is technically a crime.

Practical Concerns

Most of the impact of dating during divorce will more likely be felt indirectly. Your newfound happiness, unfortunately, can spark feelings of regret, anger, and spite on the part of your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Such emotional turbulence can case your spouse to be less agreeable on issues pertaining to your divorce, not only lengthening the process, but increasing the cost and associated challenges.

New relationships can also pull your attention away from other important matters, such as caring for your children. If you are not careful with your time and energy, not to mention your choice of romantic partner, your spouse may try to use your relationship against you in proceedings for child custody and visitation. Remember, the mere appearance of impropriety can sometimes be enough for the court to act and, while your child’s best interests may not be at risk, it is often best not to take that chance.

Your Case is Unique

You may be in the fortunate situation in which you and your soon-to-be ex have mutually agreed on ground rules for dating after your separation. Likewise, you may have already agreed, as well, to many of the necessary arrangements regarding property, children, and support. If that is that is the case for you, dating may be a more reasonable option, but it still important to be aware of the potential impact.

For more information on how to protect your rights and best interests during divorce, contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney at A. Traub & Associates. We understand how difficult life can be during and after the process of divorce and we are prepared to help you seek the post-divorce happiness you deserve.

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