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Can I Date Other People Before My Divorce Is Finalized in PA?

Risks of Dating Before Your Divorce is Final

Getting divorced can be emotionally, physically, mentally, and financially taxing. While dating may help you find some joy during this challenging time, dating during your divorce can complicate your divorce case. Here are some of the potential consequences of dating before your divorce is final.

  • You may damage your relationship with your children or the other party. If you and your soon-to-be-ex plan to be co-parents or are trying to have an amicable divorce, you risk alienating yourself from them when you start dating. Your children may also struggle to accept a new partner or that you’re dating.
  • Your spouse may question your marital conduct. Your conduct during the marriage can impact alimony determinations and the division of property and debts. If you start dating, the other party may try to prove that you were dating before the end of the marriage/date of separation. Even if you did not stay during the marriage, they may take time trying to establish you did.
  • Your parenting ability may be brought into question. The best interest of the child is the court’s main concern when determining custody, and each parent’s ability to provide a stable environment and conduct will be examined. The other party may present evidence that you bring dates home, which can impact your child’s safety, or that your dating patterns negatively impact our availability.
  • You can prolong the timeline of your divorce. As we mentioned, depending on how the other party reacts to you dating again, they may take action to investigate matters or to make the process more difficult for you, which means that the proceedings can take longer. It is also important to note that if either party is pregnant or impregnates someone else, the case can become even more complicated (thus taking longer) as paternity needs to be established.
  • You may have an emotional setback. Sometimes, you may need more time to heal and grieve before dating again.

Do’s & Don’ts of Dating During Divorce

Whether or not you date during divorce is entirely up to you. If you decide to date casually or seriously, here are a few tips concerning how to approach it.

  • Avoid dating before your official date of separation. Your date of separation is considered the day that you and your partner decide to no longer be a couple and stop cohabiting (even if you live in the same house).
  • Avoid dating openly. You shouldn’t bring a date around your children or soon-to-be-ex, especially during the proceedings. Use as much discretion as possible.
  • Avoid dating apps. While these can be a great tool for meeting people, nothing posted on the apps is really private, and your profile may be used as evidence against you in court.
  • Avoid posting on social media. Even if you are excited to share that you are dating again, social media posts and messages can also be used as evidence.
  • Be honest with new partners. When dating, be honest about your divorce and where you are in the process, and about the type of relationship you’re open to right now.
  • Be honest with your attorney. You should be as open and honest as possible with the attorney so that they are able to adequately prepare for court. It’s never a good thing if your attorney is surprised by evidence or arguments made by the opposing party.

Comprehensive Family Law Services

At William Kirby Law, Family Law Attorneys, our divorce attorney has nearly two decades of legal experience, and our team is equipped to help you with your family law matter, including:

Once you retain our firm, we can advise you of your legal options and help you understand the potential consequences of certain decisions, including dating during your divorce. To schedule your case consultation, complete our online form or call (215) 515-9901 today.