Dating during divorce can have consequences on how your marital property is divided and whether or not you receive alimony. Furthermore, when you date during divorce, your new significant other may be under scrutiny in your custody case.
Courts May Disproportionately Divide Marital Property
Texas is a community property state. This means that when a couple divorces:
- each spouse will get to keep his or her own separate property; and
- the community property (or marital) will be divided evenly amongst the spouses.
The courts will generally look at all the community property, i.e., all the mutual assets and debts, and split it down the middle as fairly as possible.
This community property rule makes property distribution pretty straightforward. However, if infidelity is a factor in the divorce, the courts may disproportionately divide the marital property in favor of the spouse who has not committed adultery.
Even if you began dating after the divorce was filed, until you have an actual divorce decree, the courts may still consider it adultery. Dating during divorce can affect how much you receive in the divorce settlement.
Your New Partner Could Affect Custody Decisions
A second way dating during divorce may impose unwanted consequences has to do with the custody of your children. Your soon-to-be ex-spouse can drag your new partner into the mix.
Your ex’s attorney may bring up things such as your new partner’s:
- work history;
- criminal record; and
- lifestyle habits.
If your new partner will be a significant part of your and your children’s lives, the courts will have to take this into consideration when making custody decisions. It may seem unfair, but your new relationship and your new partner will be under close scrutiny if you date before finalizing your divorce.
Dating Could Nullify Alimony
Lastly, dating during divorce could affect alimony. If you are the spouse with the higher income, and you are caught dating before your divorce is final, your ex could push for more alimony.
On the flipside, if you are the recipient spouse and you’re caught dating during your divorce – particularly if you move in with your new boyfriend or girlfriend – you might damage your right to alimony. When you cohabite, the court assumes you don’t require the same amount of support from your ex.
For a Divorce Lawyer in Richardson, Call Warren & Migliaccio
Given all the above, it’s apparent that dating during divorce can be damaging to your claim. That being said, some people feel they are unable to wait, particularly if they have been in a miserable marriage for a long time and are going through a long, arduous divorce process.
We encourage you to consult a divorce attorney to discuss your options and determine the best way to handle your case. To speak with an attorney in Richardson, contact Warren & Migliaccio today for a free consultation: (888) 584-9614.