There are lots of reasons why someone going through a divorce would want to start dating. Dating can make a person feel wanted after years of a loveless marriage. Dating can also help distract someone from such a stressful and painful process. However, there are a number of reasons why dating during the divorce may not help your case, especially where there are children involved.
If you have any questions about how to make your divorce go as smoothly as possible and protect your rights and interests, contact the Joshua Wilson Law Firm in Raymore, Missouri.
Dating and Alimony
Alimony, or spousal maintenance, is not ordered in every divorce. In Missouri divorce cases, the judge will evaluate the situation to determine whether maintenance is appropriate, the amount of maintenance, and the duration of spousal support. If one spouse is challenging alimony payments, they could point to the spouse's dating of a new partner as a reason to deny maintenance.
If the other spouse alleges the spouse has moved in with their dating partner or was engaged in marital misconduct during the marriage, those may be factors the court can consider in determining whether or not to grant alimony. By not dating anyone during the divorce, it will be harder for the other spouse to point to allegations that would justify denying alimony. Talk to your Missouri divorce lawyer about your right to spousal maintenance.
Dating and Child Custody
Child custody is one of the most disputed issues in a Missouri divorce. When the parents cannot come to an agreement on a parenting plan, the court may have to determine child custody. The judge in a child custody case determines what is in the child's best interests, based on a number of factors. Your new relationship with another person may affect some of these factors, including the wishes of the child.
Divorce can be tough on children and a child may not appreciate a new person coming into their parent's life. They can associate new dating partners as a cause of the divorce of their parents. Even if the parent is not introducing any dating partners to the child, the other parent may tell the child about the parent's dating and the child can see it as a negative.
Why Dating Can Be a Problem, Even if it Isn't...
Even where dating is casual and does not have a big impact on your life, it can be a problem if your spouse thinks it's a problem. Knowing that you are dating can stir up anger and jealousy in your spouse and complicate the divorce proceedings. It may make your spouse less willing to negotiate in terms of property, child custody, or spousal maintenance. It can give your spouse something to point to in arguing that you are not there to care for your children or you are living with someone else and do not need alimony.
When Can I Date Again?
Generally, after the court finalizes the dissolution of marriage, you may be free and clear to start dating again. This generally means there is a child custody and visitation order in place, alimony has been decided, and all shared assets have been divided. A former spouse may still try and dispute your ability to take care of your kids relating to dating but it may be more difficult to have a judge modify or overturn your child custody orders after the court has made a decision.
If your ex is still trying to fight you over child custody after the divorce has been finalized, talk to your Missouri divorce attorney about your options and ways to stop your ex from continuing to interfere in your life. Contact the Joshua Wilson Law Firm in Raymore today. You can reach us by phone at (816) 331-9968 or fill out our online form.