Will Dating Before the Divorce is Finalized Hurt my Divorce in California?
FAQ: Will dating before the divorce is finalized hurt my divorce in OC CA? If you want to play it safe, then dating before the divorce has been finalized is not a good idea. However, whether or not it will affect the outcome of your divorce can vary based on your judge, your spouse or partner, your children, and your level of discreetness. Dating prior to the finalization of your divorce does have the potential to affect your divorce, even though California has a no-fault divorce option.
What Does ‘No-Fault Divorce’ Mean?
However, just because you are legally allowed to date anyone you want to without facing additional consequences in the eyes of the law, dating during your divorce or before a divorce may not be the smartest move to make.
Even without legal consequences, like grounds for a divorce that has not yet been filed, dating during your divorce proceedings can take an emotional toll on the other party, which can affect the outcome of your divorce. Spending community property, or shared money, on a person you are dating prior to the finalization of your divorce may cause issues during the division of property section of your divorce.
Children and Child Custody in OC California Divorce
You’ll need to consider not only how your children may react to learning that you are dating someone new, but also how your child’s other parent may react, and how that may affect your custody agreement.
You may or may not let your children know that you are dating a new person during your divorce. It is important to ensure that the person you are dating is someone you want to meet your children, and that both you and your children are ready for it before it happens.
Once your children know that you are dating, their other parent is likely to know soon as well. If custody is an issue and your children’s other parent knows you are dating, he or she will likely let the court know. This can make it appear that you are putting your needs and wants ahead of those of your children, which will not help you in a child custody case.
It is also important to consider how your children may react to the news. You will need support throughout your divorce from friends and loved ones other than your children and your spouse or partner. However, if you are devoting time to your new beau at a time when your children need your support, they may resent you or your new partner because of it. Your children may also be more likely to blame you or your new partner for the divorce - which can affect your custody agreement.
Remember that during child custody determinations, the court is likely to consider your child's opinion on which parent he or she would like to live with, especially if your child is at least 14 years old.
If you and your spouse are resentful towards one another, or if your spouse or partner does not like your new beau, he or she may be reluctant to negotiate a shared custody agreement. It can often feel like you are replacing your former spouse or partner by dating someone else so soon and allowing your children to spend time with the new person.
Ultimately, the court will make a decision regarding both physical and legal custody based on the best interest of the children. If your new beau makes your children or your spouse uncomfortable, it may not be in your children’s best interest to be dating that person during your divorce.
Ultimately, if you are dating during your divorce, it is probably in your best interest to keep your new beau away from your children and your spouse.
If you have spent money that you and your spouse share on your new partner, you may end up getting less in the divorce as a way of repaying that money to your spouse.
In addition, your new partner’s financial situation may factor in to any support payments that you may owe or receive, especially if you are living with your new partner.
Your current spouse may also be emotionally hurt by your actions, which can cause him or her to stall proceedings or be less willing to negotiate on the division of property. It can also cause your spouse to initiate an investigation into your spending.
When spousal support is awarded in a divorce, the intention is that both spouses will be able to maintain a lifestyle similar to what they had during their marriage. However, if it is obvious that your new partner has boosted your lifestyle in any way, it is likely that it will affect your spousal support order. Either you will receive a lower amount, or you will owe a higher amount - both of which can be detrimental to you if your new relationship does not work out.
Tips for Successfully Dating During Your California Divorce
Keep it Discreet - Dating during a divorce can be risky. Don’t introduce your new partner to your children or your spouse until after the divorce has been finalized.
Keep Your Finances Separate - Do not spend community money that belongs to you and your spouse on your new partner.
Contact a Lawyer - If you are worried about how a new partner could affect your divorce, discuss it with an attorney.
Maintain Independence - In addition to only spending separate money on your new partner, do not cohabitate until your divorce has been finalized.
If you have any questions about how your divorce may be affected by a new relationship, always ask a lawyer. The attorneys at Yanez & Associates offer free initial consultations: contact us today.