If you've been unhappily married for a long time, you may be anxious to find someone new who will share your life with you more joyfully — but you really should wait until after your divorce is final. Otherwise, you may be opening the door to a whole host of additional problems.
Here's why dating someone is a bad idea while you're going through a divorce:
You Could Be Opening The Door To New Legal Troubles
Now that every state in the country has some form of "no-fault" divorce, you might think that it no longer matters if you have a relationship outside of your marriage. However, adultery is actually still a crime in several states. In Illinois, for example, you can be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, given a fine of up to $2,500 and a year in jail.
In six states, your new partner can be sued for "alienation of affection" by your spouse. If your spouse is successful, that could put a significant financial strain on your new relationship. You could also be sued in civil court over the dissipation of your marital assets if you used any money in your joint accounts to woo or support your new partner. If the judge feels that your spending on your new relationship was excessive, you could have to repay your spouse all of that money.
You Could Damage Your Custody Or Support Case
Technically, custody and support decisions in a no-fault divorce are supposed to be made without regard to a spouse's erring ways. However, the reality is that judges are human. If you stray from your marital vows before the divorce is final, the judge could be inclined to award you less spousal support than you'd like.
Similarly, your custody case could also be damaged. Your spouse could allege that your new relationship takes your time and attention away from your children and shows a lack of moral character on your part. Your spouse could also bring the character of your new love interest into question by claiming that he or she is unsuitable to be around the children for some reason. The resulting stress is unlikely to be good for any relationship.
It can be very difficult to put your life on hold while you're waiting on your divorce to be over. However, hiring the right divorce lawyer can help you speed up the process and get back to living. Talk to your divorce lawyer about your goals so that you both have a clear understanding about what is important in your case — and what is up for negotiation.
After being involved in a serious auto accident with a drunk driver, I struggled heavily with getting the driver's insurance company to open a claim. When the insurance company started pushing back, I knew I needed to do something. I spent a lot of time digging through the laws surrounding auto accident claims so that I knew what my legal rights were. I even talked with an auto accident attorney. I created this site to teach others about what I learned, including my court experience. I hope it helps you to determine how you should proceed with your auto accident case.