Divorce often takes the life to which you have grown accustomed and turns it upside down. You may feel uncertain, confused, lost, and lonely at various points during your divorce proceedings. As a result of all of this chaos in your life, it is no wonder that you want start dating and move toward a happier and more stable life. Dating before your divorce has finished, however, is a bad idea for many reasons.

First, if your spouse is not as ready to move on with life as you are, he or she may become angry or jealous of any new dating relationships that you develop. In retaliation for your actions, your soon-to-be-ex- spouse may suddenly make divorce negotiations harder on you, raise the level of conflict between the two of you, or request things that he or she didn’t want before. Actions like these can delay your divorce or make it more difficult to resolve.

Second, immediately starting a dating relationship can be upsetting to your children, who already may be feeling lost and confused as a result of your physical separation from their other parent. Your children already are in the midst of massive changes to their lives, which can make them angry and sad. Introducing a new boyfriend or girlfriend into the mix at this point during your divorce may simply be too much for your children to handle.

Third, if you and your ex already are embroiled in a dispute over parenting arrangements for your children, adding another partner may be detrimental to your case. Your ex may be less willing to share custody with you if you already have moved on to a new relationship. Your new paramour may have attributes or a past history that shows your inability to make good choices or that raises concerns about your ability to protect your children.

Fourth, the Court will likely frown on you for having a relationship while you are still married. This may result in orders that make parenting time more difficult, forcing you to choose between your new partner and your children.

Some divorce cases are much more complex than others, but dating during your divorce is usually the worst idea you could have. No matter what issues arise in your divorce proceedings, however, we are here to help. The lawyers at Pacific Northwest Family Law have handled countless divorce cases throughout the years, as well as all other family law-related matters. Contact Pacific Northwest Family Law today so that we can explain your rights and responsibilities about your Washington divorce.