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Even if it’s legal, it may not be a good idea. 

Is It Illegal to Date before Divorce Is Final? 

The short answer is maybe. It really depends on where you’re located. There are still some states where adultery is illegal. However, it should be noted that, just because adultery is technically illegal in those states, does not mean that it’s actually prosecuted. For example, although it’s against the law to illegally download music, most prosecutors aren’t going to waste their time and resources filing charges against every single person who downloads a song. So, much like downloading music illegally, you can in some states, face legal consequences, however, the circumstances would usually need to be extraordinary for police to investigate and a prosecutor to actually file charges against you for what would technically qualify as adulterous behavior while you’re still legally married. 

So… Can You Date while Going through a Divorce? 

Just because you’re unlikely to go to jail for adultery doesn’t mean that it can’t effect your divorce. Though you may be in a state that has decriminalized adultery, that doesn’t mean that you cannot face civil consequences. For instance, some states have laws that bar or allow the court to adjust alimony based on whether one of the parties cheated on their spouse. If you’re legally married, and you begin to date before the divorce is finalized, that may qualify as “adultery” in some states, and prevent you from getting alimony. Even during the divorce process, you’re still legally married until the court enters an order indicating otherwise. This can be done by bifurcating the legal relationship from the other issues in the divorce in some cases. Again, this will vary from state to state. So if you’re wondering whether or not dating during the divorce process will have an effect on your divorce, you need to speak to an attorney who’s licensed in your state. 

Is It OK to Date Someone Who Is Separated but Not Divorced? 

People who are dating someone who is not yet divorced may wonder about their exposure to alienation of affection lawsuits. While we never say never when it comes to legal issues, it is less likely that you would face legal consequences for dating someone who is separated but not yet divorced. However, it should be noted that the divorce process is an emotionally traumatic one. Many people who are going through divorce do not have the mental and emotional capacity to begin a new relationship. If you’re dating someone who’s not divorced yet, they may not really be ready to give you the relationship that you deserve. 

Can You Use Dating Sites Before Divorce Is Final?

Most attorneys strongly encourage their clients to wait until their divorce is finalized before they date.  This is because dating during the divorce process can make your divorce more complicated, especially if your spouse is motivated by jealousy to cause problems. Even in places where adultery isn’t illegal, your spouse may still cause problems by being unwilling to negotiate which can drag out the divorce process and raise your legal fees. Even though attorneys may discourage dating before the divorce is finalized, many people will still decide to date before they finalize their divorce. It’s also important to remember that online dating platforms are a form of social media, and it’s in your best interest to be very careful about anything you say on social media—especially pertaining to your divorce. It should also be mentioned that although you have control over what you post, you have limited control over who sees it. Prematurely dating could potentially have other adverse effects on your divorce as well, primarily in the realm of legal and physical custody of children. 

 Can I Legally Stop My Ex from Introducing a New Partner? 

A lot of people have concerns about their spouse introducing the children to a new significant other. In most circumstances, especially after the divorce is finalized, parents have limited control over who their ex introduces the child to. However, if there is some compelling reason that your ex’s new partner could harm the child, the court may place restrictions around the new partner. For example, if your ex is dating a registered sex offender who’s victimized children that are the same age and gender as your child, the court may order that the child is never left alone with your ex’s new boyfriend or girlfriend. But you may not be able to prevent your spouse’s significant other from meeting the child or interacting with the child. 


When You’re Considering Divorce 

If you’re considering divorce, and you have questions about your situation, schedule a consultation with CoilLaw today. 



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