Can I Date Other People Before My Divorce Is Final?

 Posted on April 08, 2024 in Divorce

St. Charles, IL divorce lawyerUnder Illinois law, divorces are not anyone’s “fault.” The only legal basis for divorce is “irreconcilable differences.” Sometimes those differences are so great that at least one spouse might be looking to move on even before the divorce is finalized. 

It is not illegal to enter a new romantic relationship before your divorce is final, and it will not make the divorce your “fault.” It can, however, complicate the divorce process for you and those around you. It is advisable to consult with an experienced divorce attorney before committing to a new relationship while your marriage is still valid.

Here are a few complications that can arise if you start a new relationship before your divorce is official.

It Can Affect Cooperation From Your Spouse

Cooperation between two spouses during a divorce is essential to making the proceedings as smooth as possible. A court will look at interspousal cooperation and communication very closely in some cases, like in a child custody dispute. 

If you enter a new relationship while you are still married, this can anger your spouse and cause him or her to be less willing to cooperate on certain issues. These issues can include:

  • Child custody

  • Child support

  • Spousal support, also known as alimony

  • Asset division

It Can Be a Strain On Your Loved Ones

Divorce almost always negatively affects children in life-altering ways. Even adult children often experience sadness, anger, and confusion after learning their parents are getting divorced. Starting a new romantic relationship can add to this confusion and intensify the painful feelings felt by your children and other relatives. 

Your New Partner Could Affect Child Custody

While dating itself may not be illegal before divorce, who you choose to date can become a factor in the divorce proceedings. If there is a dispute about child custody, for example, courts will look at a host of different factors, one of them being who you and your spouse are romantically entangled with. 

For example, if you are dating someone who abuses drugs or alcohol, it can be used against you in court as evidence that your environment is dangerous for a child. If your new partner has a criminal record, it can be used to diminish what Illinois law calls “parenting time.” Parenting time, also known as physical custody, refers to those periods when a parent is taking care of the child.

Contact a Kane County, IL Divorce Lawyer

Filing for divorce starts a legal process that opens your life up to scrutiny. Your finances, marriage, history, and family can all affect the divorce proceedings. This is also true of your romantic relationships. Before you enter a new romantic relationship, it is a good idea to first consult with an experienced St. Charles, Illinois divorce attorney who can advise you on the correct actions to take. Contact Goostree Law Group for a free consultation at 630-584-4800.

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