Deciding to date before your New Mexico divorce becomes final is a tricky call to make, particularly because it’s not necessarily “right” or “wrong” to do so. Everyone moves on at different speeds and in different ways, so some people will take longer to get back into the dating scene than others. Nevertheless, it’s important to be mindful of how quickly you decide to move on as dating during the separation or divorce process can introduce some new challenges and problems.
If you are thinking about dating during this time, be sure you know how it might impact you in the long run.
Potential Legal Complications
Over the course of a divorce, many details of your private life become part of the legal proceedings. Attorneys will scrutinize your personal life, and this can happen before the court. Therefore, your actions during this time can impact how your divorce is settled, especially when it comes to child and spousal support, and child custody. Although there is no law that puts you at a disadvantage simply for dating before the divorce is final, your love life can have a subtle impact on some legal outcomes.
For example, if you are dating during the divorce, your spouse can allege that you are not paying enough attention to your kids, particularly when you spend time with your new partner when you also have the children. Your spouse’s testimony regarding your parenting role could harm your custody case, resulting in an outcome that isn’t as favorable to you as it could have been.
If you are spending a lot of money on romantic partners–such as vacations, gifts or dates–your spouse can say you are draining marital assets. Additionally, should you move in with a new partner and combine your incomes, you could find yourself receiving fewer assets during property division or losing out on spousal support.
The Emotional Impact
Depending on the state of your relationship with your spouse, they may not respond well to the idea of you dating. Seeing you openly date can stir up feelings of resentment, hurt and anger, all of which can make the divorce more emotional and messier than it would have been otherwise. As a result, your spouse might become more vocal about what they want during court meetings and/or trying to retaliate. The environment of increased conflict can make the divorce process more expensive and more stressful, and it may drag out longer.
On top of your spouse’s emotions, yours may be misleading, too. You might discover that dating right after your last relationship ended is a necessary step to move on or that you’ve managed to find the right match. However, you still have to consider how your decision to date is being influenced by your emotions about the divorce and how it may impact the decisions you make during the divorce proceedings.
A divorce is a major life choice, and what you decide now will impact your life for years to come, from your financial situation to the relationships you have with your children. Weigh how the emotional stress and toll of a divorce, when combined with the feelings that come with a new relationship, will impact your ability to make life-altering decisions during this time.
In general, waiting to re-enter the world of dating until after your divorce is final is often the right way to go, since you are putting yourself at a lower risk of some negative repercussions. Dating during a divorce doesn’t violate any rules, but it can make your divorce process more complicated and tougher for you legally and emotionally.