Marriage separation and dating
This is a question I am frequently asked; and although the technically correct answer is “yes,” my advice is usually “NO!” Such advice, however, bears further clarification of context.Some states have laws stating that a spouse cohabitating with a parter of the opposite sex is presumed to have a decreased need for spousal support.Dating before a divorce is final is one of the typical issues that causes heightened conflict during a divorce.Marital misconduct can encompass a wide variety of actions, including adultery and cruelty.During the proceedings, the fact that a dating spouse is already separated will be noted, but that does not necessarily mean the circumstances of the new relationship will not be considered.Either way, the other spouse may become confrontational, may become unwilling to compromise and obstinate during the proceedings, or, at best, may become cold and distrustful of the dating spouse.
Another, even less common, suit is one for "criminal conversation." In a criminal conversation suit, the wronged spouse again sues, but for the suit to proceed there must have been a sexual relationship.If the new partner makes the children feel uncomfortable, whether it has to do with the partner personally or it's related to the children feeling that the partner may be at fault or contributing to the separation and divorce, this is likely to have an effect on custody decisions made by the judge.As such, a spouse who decides to date during the separation is wise to keep the children and the new partner separate to avoid arousing these types of issues during the proceedings.Further, your new partner may be subject to legal action as well, especially if your relationship began before separation.In some states, the spurned spouse can sue for "alienation of affection." An alienation of affection suit is when a spouse who was cheated on sues a third party essentially for stealing the other spouse and breaking up the marriage.