Maryland spouses who are going through a divorce might question if they can start a new relationship during the process. While most advise against it, this will be up to the individual. There are a lot of areas, both legal and personal, that should be considered when deciding to start a new relationship so soon.
One of the first considerations in deciding this is whether the couple has kids. If they do, courts will want to see that both parents are putting the best interests of the children first. This might involve questions about when it is appropriate to introduce the children to the new partner or when that person can sleep over at the house, for example. Furthermore, the emotional well-being of the children needs to be addressed. The parents might seek further support from a therapist.
Legally, if someone is considering dating during the end of the marriage, they should first consider how a court might look at the situation. If a court considers it, they might look at whether the couple was officially separated when the person started dating someone else. When children are involved, a court might also consider if the parent’s new partner has had issues with abuse, drugs or other legal problems.
In some situations, courts might also look at the money spent on dating to decide if those funds were actually marital property. To address this, the court may explore factors such as:
• When the new couple started dating
• Was the relationship a factor in the divorce
• Whether the money used for dating had to be paid back to the other spouse
Dating during the divorce process can have both legal and personal consequences. To avoid negative effects, it might be best to postpone dating until after the divorce is finalized. A family law attorney could provide further guidance in this area.