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Can I date while my divorce is pending?

Many people going through a divorce are ready to plunge right back into the dating scene, but there are both legal and strategic reasons for holding off until the ink is dry on your divorce judgment.

Some good reasons for refraining from pairing up with a new partner include:

-- Your former partner will likely not react well when he or she learns that you have moved on. This can unnecessarily complicate and even prolong the divorce process.

-- Even if he or she previously agreed to the split, jealousies that arise can throw a monkey wrench into agreed-upon custody plans or marital property divisions.

-- Your new relationship can become the focus of co-parenting agreements or be used as fodder to substantiate allegations of infidelity or less than stellar parenting decisions.

-- Whomever you are dating can come under the scrutiny of the court regarding his or her fitness to be around your minor children. This is not the ideal way to begin any relationship and can quickly become counter-productive.

-- If you allow someone to move in with you, it could affect the amount of spousal support, if any, you may be awarded. If someone else is contributing to your household expenses, the amount of child support could even be affected.

However, it's been said "the heart wants what it wants," and during protracted divorce proceedings, it can be hard to refrain from spending time with someone with whom you have established an intimate connection.

If you are experiencing such a situation, your best source of advice is the family law attorney representing you in your divorce and custody matters.

Source: womansdivorce.com, "Why Dating During Divorce Is Unwise," Tracy Achen, accessed Oct. 01, 2015

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