Divorce is an extremely stressful event for a family or in a person’s life. That’s why it’s understandable for some people who choose to date during a divorce. Dating gives them the chance to get their minds off of the stress, relax, and boost their self-esteem by going on dates with someone who is interested in them.
So with all those benefits, why shouldn’t you date while your divorce is still processing?
Reasons Why Dating While Waiting For Your Divorce Finality Is A NO-NO
Dating while waiting for the finality of your divorce can affect you legally and financially. It might even affect you emotionally in the long-term. Websites like Mother.ly , Babble, and other relevant sites stated the top seven reasons on why you should think first before trying out dating while your divorce is still in the works.
- Dating While The Divorce Case Is Ongoing Can Be A Point Against You
If this is the first time you went on dates with another person, sleeping with someone else, or merely having romantic ties with anyone, your spouse will most likely make it difficult for you two to settle because they would feel offended at the thought of you dating someone else.
“When you enter into a romantic relationship, your self-concept becomes really intertwined with that loved one…you start to feel like who you are is melding with who they are…that’s an incredibly painful process to have to reverse,” social psychologist Grace Larson explains.
- It Can Negatively Affect The Amount Of Your Spousal Support
Until the judge announces that you two are divorced, in the eyes of the law, you are still married. If you sleep with someone else before the divorce is announced as official, it may count as adultery. In some states, this may affect the amount of spousal support you will receive. There are also cases wherein if you’re living with your new partner; there are chances that you won’t receive any spousal support at all.
- Dating Before Your Divorce Is Final Can Affect Your Settlement Strategy
Contrary to what most would think, how the spousal support is paid depends on the laws available in the state. There are those that pay in monthly installments while there are those that allow you to get your spousal support in one sum.
If your spouse finds out that you’re going to be living with a new partner, they might not agree to give you a lump sum and instead go for a monthly installment. This decision is made because spousal support will end the moment you live with a new partner.
- Dating During Divorce Can Negatively Affect Your Property Distribution
Money from spousal support is considered as taxable income to you, but money from property settlement isn’t. Because of this, you might think of not going for the spousal support to get more money, and your spouse might be thinking of the same thing because this will end their obligation to give your support sooner in the future.
Getting a property settlement instead of spousal support is faster and cleaner as it prevents possible problems that might occur between you and your ex in the future. But if your spouse knows that you’re already living or dating someone else, they probably wouldn’t agree with a property settlement and choose spousal support instead as this prevents them from giving more money. The moment you move in with a new partner, they can stop giving you spousal support too.
- It Can Be A Point Against Parenting Arrangement
It will also make arranging a parenting plan for your children more difficult and complicated as this will change your parenting time. If your soon-to-be-ex-spouse isn’t dating, they might feel threatened or replaced with your new partner and refuse to give you more time with the children. This issue will also make them worry about how your new partner will affect the kids and how they will raise them, making agreeing to a parenting arrangement more difficult.
- Dating During Divorce Can Negatively Affect Your Kids
Divorce already takes enough time as much as a full-time job, and if you have both, this significantly reduces the time you can spend with your kids. But during the divorce, your kids will need you more than ever because they are still dealing with their feelings regarding the separation and adjusting to it. Introducing a new relationship might be too much for them.
“Some kids will be needing more parental and adult support with things they used to be able to do independently,” says Stephanie Samar, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute. “You might see their sleep routine is disrupted or they’ll need you to do some self-care things for them a bit more than they used to.”
- Dating Keeps You From Dealing Thoroughly With Your Emotions
You may think that having a new relationship would be able to make you forget the misery you’re experiencing. But this is false. Your divorce will still affect you and jumping straight into a new relationship will only make it more difficult for you to deal with your feelings and thoughts.
It may not seem like a good thing to do, but you have to honestly feel your emotions during your divorce for you to truly heal. Healing takes time and hiding away your feelings with a new relationship won’t help you recover and will only make you repeat the mistakes you made in the past.
“You’ll have a chorus of people telling you it’s time, but you need to follow your gut feelings,” explains Alexandra Solomon, PhD. Solomon is an assistant clinical professor of psychology at Northwestern University. “Then you might benefit from some counseling sessions to see what’s holding you back—for example, a lot of women feel overly self-conscience about their appearance,” she continues.
Having a new relationship right after the beginning of the divorce could be nothing more than just a band-aid solution. It would just end up with you being more miserable once the romance fades because you’ll realize you let yourself get swept by the emotions. Use the time after your divorce to focus on yourself. Try to understand what went wrong in your marriage so that you can avoid it in your future relationships.