Divorce is often a process that drags on for months or even up to a year or more. During this period, many people commonly start dating again. Dating after a divorce is a critical way for many people to move on and achieve happiness after such a debilitating process.
However, your spouse may attempt to attack your reputation during a divorce and use your dating to accuse you of infidelity. If you are dating somebody during a divorce and are concerned it might affect your settlement, you need to understand how it could affect the proceedings.
Dating May Cause Complications
Dating during a divorce is often a tricky balancing act. If you are simply seeing somebody and haven't slept together, most courts won't have a problem with it or define your acts as adultery. However, sleeping with somebody during a divorce can complicate things. Though rare, some courts could consider physical and sexual activities with another person during divorce as adultery.
This definition is likely to be one that depends on the individual court, as most states define relationships after filing for divorce as non-adulterous acts. For example, if you registered for divorce in September and started dating somebody in December, you wouldn't be considered guilty of adultery.
However, just because it isn’t legally adultery, that doesn't mean that a judge won't consider you in a harsher light because of your relationship. And, unfortunately, your ex may be willing to attempt to use this relationship
Your Spouse May Try to Use It Against You
Even if you were faithful to your spouse during your relationship, your spouse may use your new relationship to attempt to show that you are a cheater. For example, they might try to claim that your new relationship is:
Just one case of your infidelity
The reason you filed for divorce
A cause of pain and suffering in their life
In this situation, your spouse will have to provide evidence that you were cheating on them. And if you weren't, this process is going to be very hard for them to accomplish.
They may bring up evidence such as rumors of infidelity, you coming home late at night, friendly posts from others on your social media sites, and other circumstantial situations. Most courts will find this kind of evidence flimsy, but some judges may view your new relationship as suspicious or even as evidence of your infidelity.
Fighting against this perception from the judge is going to be hard to accomplish. For example, you may need character witnesses to testify that you were faithful to your spouse. You may also need witnesses to confirm when your relationship started with your new partner. Going through all of this process is going to lengthen the procedure and could just be a ruse by your ex to get a better result from the divorce.
For example, your ex might know that you weren't cheating and understand that they have no hope of really proving it. However, they may still try to attack you in this way as a bargaining chip. They may pursue the matter only to agree to drop the issue if you provide them with more money in the settlement. Such tactics are not uncommon in bitter divorces.
You need to understand the annoyance of having to prove that you were faithful during marriage if you want to divorce and date at the same time. Call Scott, Quinlan, Willard, Barnes & Keeshan, LLC to learn more about this subject and to improve your chances of divorce success. We can discuss your case and develop a plan for success.