So you’ve met a “special someone.” What’s the problem? Your divorce is not yet finalized. You know that once your divorce is finalized you are free to remarry this person (Illinois does not have a waiting period before a newly-divorced person is able to remarry), but it has been months – perhaps a year or more – and your divorce is not yet complete. There is no prohibition against dating this new person and developing a relationship with him or her; however, doing so while your divorce is still pending can cause certain problems.
Potential Problems of Dating While Divorcing
Dating while your divorce is still pending is not prohibited, but doing so can present some unique issues for your divorce. The effect your new relationship will have on your divorce will depend on your ex-spouse as well as the nature of your new relationship.
- Effects on property division: When a divorce is initially filed, one of the very first orders a court enters is a restraining order that prohibits the parties from wasting or disposing of marital assets like the marital house, cars, personal property, money, and other assets. Parties who disregard this order from the court can be held in contempt of court and/or receive less property during the property division process to compensate the other spouse for the dissipation in marital assets. To avoid potential problems, refrain from using any marital assets in order to support or benefit your new relationship. For example, do not sell your new partner the car you and your ex-spouse purchased together or dip into savings in order to help your partner pay for expenses.
- Effects on child custody: If your new partner spends time with your children, your ex-spouse may attempt to use this fact as a means of arguing for custody or for awarding you less visitation. If your partner has a spotted background – prior felony convictions, child abuse or child neglect investigations, or alcohol/drug-related problems, the court may take these facts into account when determining who should have primary residential custody of the child (either temporarily or permanently).
- Effect on maintenance: Spousal support (also known as alimony or maintenance) is dependent in part on the needs of the spouse requesting the maintenance. If your new partner is providing assistance to you by helping with household bills and expenses, this can factor into a court’s determination as to your need for maintenance.
Seek Counsel from a DuPage County Family Law Attorney
During the divorce process, it is always a good idea to keep in touch with a skilled DuPage County divorce attorney
and seek his or her counsel before making significant purchases, sales, or life changes. At our firm in DuPage County, we are committed to helping our clients avoid potential pitfalls and mistakes that can cost them in their divorce. Contact us at 630-871-1002
whether your have already filed for divorce or are considering filing and learn how certain choices can help or hinder you from achieving your goals in your Illinois divorce.