Navigating a separation from your spouse is difficult enough without adding the dating game into the mix. So is dating while separated a good idea?
Practically speaking, remember that you are still married! Even if you are legally separated and living apart from one another, your divorce is not finalized until a divorce decree is issued by a judge, and dating while still married can have a negative impact on you in your case. For one, it can create hard feelings in an already emotionally charged event, and any hopes you had of amicably settling your divorce can get tossed right out the window.
Dating While Separated with Children
If you have kids, dating before being divorced can affect your child custody arrangement in Maryland. So be prepared to put more time and money into settling or litigating your divorce if you bring a new girlfriend/boyfriend into the mix.
Your time and money would be better spent by focusing on establishing a new life for yourself and your children. Concentrate on establishing and maintaining a new daily schedule for yourself and with your kids, getting all members of the family accustomed to a new schedule that often includes shuffling between two households. Focus on ensuring your financial stability and setting up new financial goals for yourself, post-divorce. And above all, take time to heal your emotions, and seek therapy to work through any issues you are still holding onto before you jump into another relationship.
If you do find yourself in a new relationship, it is best to keep that new relationship discreet. If your new boyfriend/girlfriend cares enough about you, they will wait while you finalize everything with your divorce, understanding that this new relationship will impact your divorce proceedings. If you have kids, now is definitely not the time to bring a new girlfriend/boyfriend into their lives. Limit your contact with your new girlfriend/boyfriend to times when your children are not with you because your new relationship will come under much scrutiny in your child custody case.
For Further Legal Advice, Contact Us
From my personal experience as a Maryland divorce attorney, I wouldn’t suggest jumping into a new relationship while you’re separated; there will be plenty of time for that later. But if you do, use common sense and remember the more you intertwine your new relationship into your separation and divorce, the more time and money it will cost you.
If you still have questions on dating while separated and how it could impact your case in Maryland, or you have other inquiries on the divorce and custody process, please contact family law attorneys Mary Ellen Flynn, Kate McDonough, or Amanda Vann. You can also fill out a contact form from our website, and we will reach out to schedule your consultation.