The Rules of Dating During Divorce

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dating-during-divorceDuring the divorce process, which can last more than a year in some cases, many people seek new companionship. If you are not officially divorced, however, you are still legally married and should be conscious of potential repercussions.

The idea of “almost divorced” does not exist; either you are divorced or you are not. Now that you and your spouse have decided to split, it may seem like the ideal time to boost your self-esteem and pursue potential love interests, but doing so can have negative implications.

Why Not to Date During Divorce

Divorces are very taxing, emotionally and physically. You often feel a drastic decline in self-esteem. You may feel ready to move on. Your friends might even encourage you to find someone new to help you “get over” your ex-spouse. Acting on this temptation, however, can backfire.

Although Illinois eliminated fault-based grounds for divorce, thus removing any legal repercussions regarding outside relationships, dating too early can still wreak havoc on other aspects of your case if it is in litigation. You could experience negative impacts in any of these divorce-related areas:

  • Parenting time;
  • Spousal maintenance;
  • Settlement strategy;
  • Hostility;
  • Property division; and
  • Relationship with children.

Divorce Emotional Process

Logically and legally speaking, not dating during the divorce process is your best course of action, but sometimes when you are in a high-stress situation, logic flies out the window and emotions take over. It may help to remember that adding another person to your already dizzying emotional roller coaster typically does not end well. It is nearly impossible to build the stable foundation necessary for a committed relationship in an unstable environment. Relationship experts suggest waiting up to a year after the divorce is finalized before beginning a potentially serious relationship. The waiting period allows you enough time to heal and re-discover self-clarity. Marriage and divorce teach us a lot about ourselves. Taking a moment to reflect on those lessons enables us to grow as individuals and go on to build a healthier and overall happier future.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Divorce Attorney

For most people, dating does not present negative consequences in their divorce proceedings, but circumstances still exist in which poor relationship timing can hurt your case. If you are considering a new relationship or suspect your ex of dating before the marriage has officially ended, a DuPage County divorce lawyer can help. The skilled attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group can offer legal advice on your next steps and how to protect yourself. Call our office at 630-871-1002 to schedule your free initial consultation.


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