It’s natural to want to get back out there as soon as possible after you’re sure of your split with a spouse, but there are reasons you should wait until the courts finalize your divorce before going on that date. It can feel frustrating to let a divorce pause your love life. However, waiting could reap significant legal and financial benefits. Before you say yes to someone new, think about the following reasons why you shouldn’t date during a divorce case in San Diego.
Your Goal Should Be an Amicable Split
A divorce does not have to be messy, difficult, or a “battle.” Contrary to what you may have heard, a divorce can be easy and stress-free. The secret is working with your former spouse to agree upon the terms of the divorce without involving a judge. Think about your goals for the divorce, hire a lawyer, and enter into mediation with an open mind. These tips can help you come to a compromise and get a divorce quickly and with minimal money.
Another tip for a quick and easy divorce is not to date while the paperwork is still pending. Dating during a divorce can give your former spouse a reason to make the split harder than it has to be. You could find that your spouse suddenly contests terms of the divorce he or she previously agreed on after hearing that you were out with someone else. This can draw out your divorce for longer than necessary – costing you more time and money. Do yourself a favor and wait to date before your case gets much more challenging.
It Could Affect Spousal Support
Since California is a no-fault divorce state, you don’t have to worry about a date interfering with property division or spousal support payments. You may, however, need to think about how your former spouse might use the news to alter how he or she pays a spousal support agreement. In general, it is up to the spouse whether to pay alimony as one lump sum or payments over time.
If your former spouse hears you’ve already moved on, the odds are high that he or she will refuse to give you a lump sum and instead go for monthly payments. As soon as you move in with your new spouse, he or she is off the hook – no more spousal support payments necessary. Waiting until the divorce is final, however, can improve the odds of receiving the full amount in a lump sum payment.
Dating and Divorce Are Both Time-Consuming
Think about what your planner is going to look like if you start juggling your normal responsibilities with both a divorce case and a brand-new love interest. Both getting a divorce and dating someone new require a significant amount of time, attention, and energy. Trying to balance them can mean failing at both. Give your divorce and a new person the attention they deserve by separating the two. Wait until you’re in a better place emotionally and financially to start dating to make sure you don’t start off on the wrong foot.
It Can Confuse the Kids (and Even Affect Child Custody)
Finally, dating during a divorce might not be what’s best for the kids. If you and your former spouse have children together, it might be too soon to expose them to a “replacement.” Divorce can be difficult enough for children without having to immediately adapt to another person in the house. Waiting until the divorce is over to start dating can give your kids enough time to cope with the transition and understand that their parents both want to be happy with other people.
Ask your lawyer how dating during a divorce might affect child custody. If your new partner has a history of arrests, drug/alcohol abuse, or domestic violence, the courts might alter your custody agreement accordingly. In almost every San Diego divorce case, waiting to date is the best move.