After a serious relationship like a marriage ends, many people heal by jumping right back into the dating game. While it may be natural to want to move on with a new partner, a serious relationship during your divorce proceedings may end up hurting both your personal relationships and the results of your divorce case. Before you begin dating again, keep in mind the ways that your new relationship may cause problems in your former relationship.
Relationship with Your Ex
During a divorce, it is imperative that both spouses work together to create a reasonable divorce agreement that fits the needs of both parties. From splitting up property to managing joint debts, couples need to work together in order to move on from the relationship.
When one spouse begins dating during a divorce, latent tensions can flare up. Even though both people are attempting to end the relationship, it can still be difficult to know that your ex is with someone new. These new relationships are particularly contentious if issues like infidelity caused the initial split.
Relationship with Children
When a marriage produces children, they are likely to be confused and hurt during the divorce process. Even when the divorce is amicable, children can still internalize hurt feelings and may worry about being abandoned by their parents.
When one spouse begins dating during the divorce, the confusion is amplified. Children may blame the new partner for the split, or may be angry at the parent for moving on from their former spouse. Often, children will accept a new dating partner after time has healed some of the wounds from the divorce, but they may feel distrustful and alienated if one parent begins dating too soon.
Effect on Custody and Support Payments
During a divorce proceedings, issues like child support and child custody can be worked out between the parties or can be left up to the discretion of the judge. Many judges disapprove of parents who start dating too soon after a divorce, and may let their disapproval sway their decisions about support or visitation rights.
This is especially true when one spouse is living with a new partner. When a judge determines how much support a spouse should receive, factors like living arrangements come into play. If one spouse is sharing expenses with a new partner, that spouse should be able to either pay more support or receive less support.
Additionally, if the new dating partner is less than an upstanding citizen, a judge may award that parent fewer custody rights or visitation time. Though it may not seem fair, a judge’s responsibility is to protect the best interests of the children. If the new dating partner is potentially dangerous or a bad influence, these factors will affect the judge’s decision.
Every divorce is different. While some spouses may be completely fine with their former partner moving on, others may be jealous or spiteful. When two spouses cannot work together, or when a new boyfriend or girlfriend affects the lives of a couple’s children, the new relationship may have a strong influence on the divorce case. If possible, couples should wait until the divorce is finalized to begin a new relationship.
It can be difficult for anyone to accept that their former partner has moved on and is dating again. While the idea of getting revenge by making a divorce complicated and expensive can be enticing, it is often better for both parties to work out a mutually beneficial arrangement, especially if children are involved.
At Pacific Northwest Family Law, we understand that you may be feeling strong emotions about your former spouse’s new partner, but our goal is to help you put the past behind you by negotiating a divorce agreement that fits your needs. We will work with your former spouse on your behalf, so that you can focus on creating a new and better life.
For help with your situation, contact us today by calling 509-572-3700.