5 Reasons Why Dating During Divorce Can Be a Bad Idea
Everyone reacts to the divorce process differently. While some people may feel overwhelmed and emotionally distraught, others might be ready to step away from the past and jump back into the dating pool. However, dating before your divorce is finalized might not be the best idea for several reasons.
Not everyone is the same, and every potential relationship is different. There is always the chance that you might meet the love of your life amid the chaos of your divorce. However, this isn’t usually the case. It’s important to remember the gravity of your current situation and the potential impact your actions now could have on you later.
Here are five reasons to think twice about dating before your divorce is final:
1. Your Emotional Stability
Some people may feel completely unfazed by their divorce, and they might mean it, but it is possible your emotions just haven’t caught up with you yet. Divorce is a jarring, life-changing event. Even if you were the one who initially wanted the divorce, and are happy to continue with it, you are still ending a significant chapter in your life. Before you get back out there and begin dating again, make sure you really are letting yourself feel whatever it is that you feel about your divorce. If you are suppressing your response to this divorce, dating could just make things that much more difficult for you once you face your feelings.
2. A Difficult Divorce Process
Even if you and your spouse are divorcing amicably, if you start to date during the divorce process, it could add tension to your relationship. You might say you don’t care about that, or it won’t affect you directly, but it will. Even if you are unaffected by your spouse’s anger, sadness, resentment, or bitterness, those feelings he or she harbors could make the divorce process drastically more difficult for you. If your spouse is uncooperative because of some ill will towards you, it could lead to more arguments, fewer compromises, and a drastically longer divorce process. And, if your divorce is already contentious, adding your new relationship to the mix could cause a whole storm of issues.
3. Spousal Support Could Be Affected
Oregon is a no-fault divorce state. This means any accusations of adultery or other wrongdoing cannot be held against the other person in court. However, even if you did not cheat on your spouse during your marriage, dating during the divorce process could still impact you in other ways. The court cannot outright deny you assets or properties because you might have cheated on your spouse, but your ability to afford dates, weekend getaways, etc. could be used against you where alimony is concerned. If you are seeking spousal support, or your spouse has asked that you pay support, anything you do can be used as evidence of your supposed prosperity. Posting a picture of your date on social media could later be used as evidence of your financial well-being in court, and so on. Your spouse can use information like this as leverage against you, making the divorce more unpleasant than necessary, and potentially robbing you of your fair share in the process.
4. Other Legal Implications
If you choose to date while you are still going to court or mediation to settle certain aspects of your divorce, it’s important that you understand how dating might affect you in a legal aspect. Even though the court can’t technically fault you for your new relationship, your spouse could use it as ammunition against you if you are dealing with a child custody issue. Even if you are a wonderful, attentive parent, your spouse might twist your new relationship and the time you spend on it to make it sound as if you do not have time for your children. Also, if the person you are dating has a questionable past, this could make it especially difficult for you to get the child custody agreement you want.
5. The Impact on Your Children
If you have children, their feelings should be your one of your primary concerns during your divorce. The divorce process can be extremely hard for children, sometimes even leading to serious behavioral issues or strained parent-child relationships. If your kids are already having a rough time with your divorce, it might be best if you avoid throwing yet another big piece of news in their path. Children are resilient, but introducing them to someone new while news of your divorce is still fresh could be tough and might even drive a wedge between you.
Each person’s situation is unique, so there is no universal answer that applies to everyone when it comes to dating during divorce. However, as a general rule, dating before your divorce is finalized is not usually the best idea. Not only can it complicate things for you, hurt your children, and make your relationship with your spouse more contentious, it might also be difficult for your new boyfriend or girlfriend. Before you begin dating, make sure you consider all the potential issues and risks and decide for yourself whether or not it’s worth waiting.Contact McKinley Irvin for help with your divorce in Oregon.