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Is it Okay to Date While Separated?

By Sherrie C. Smith July 25, 2019

Family Law

Is it Okay to Date While Separated?

Dating while separated can be much more complicated than you might think. Dating while you and your spouse are separated can create complex legal issues and even damage your chances for a resolution that is in your favor. If children are involved, then dating someone during your separation could potentially affect your custody case. Judges tend to frown on introducing children to a new partner too soon after you have separated from your spouse.

Even if you do not have children, moving on too early could invite a lawsuit against the person you are dating.

Child Custody and Dating While Separated

If your children see you with someone other than your spouse, they may feel uncomfortable and confused. Introducing your children to a new dating partner should be done slowly and with care. During child custody cases, the judge will decide what is in the best interests of the children, and in turn, determine the custody rights of you and your spouse. The judge may believe that introducing the kids to a new partner too soon is not in the best interest of the children.

Overnight guests often cause the most strife in custody cases. If your new dating partner stays overnight while your children are there, the judge could limit your custodial time with the children. A more common result, however, is for the judge to order that neither party have any overnight guests, other than those related by blood or marriage, while the children are in his or her care. Each case is different and based on the circumstances involved. That is why you should consult with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you and ensure that you are taking the right steps during your separation.

Alienation of Affection

In the state of North Carolina, your spouse can sue your new dating partner by bringing a lawsuit against that person for alienation of affection. This basically means that your spouse can sue your new boyfriend or girlfriend for “alienating” your affection from your spouse and damaging your marriage if your relationship with the new boyfriend or girlfriend started prior to your separation. A lawsuit may still be filed even if you have not been sexually active with your new dating partner.

Alimony and Dating While Separated

Dating while separated is particularly frowned upon if you have a claim for alimony. Cohabitation, or even dating, can play a role in determining how much alimony you may receive, or even whether you will receive it at all. Understand that if your alimony case goes to trial, it is likely that you will be asked about any romantic interests under oath.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

If you are considering dating while separated, you need to think twice and consult with the attorneys at Helms, Robison, Lee & Bennett, P.A. today to ensure that you are not doing anything that could damage your case.

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