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Dating during a legal separation

In most divorces, there is a period after the marriage is over in the minds of the parties, but before the marriage is over in the eyes of the law.

This is a difficult period for both parties, because they're torn between two competing ideas: fidelity to the now-ended but not legally finished marriage, and equally strong desire to move on and start a new life.

That's probably why so many divorcing people have questions about sex and new relationships.

At what point is it appropriate to start seeing someone new? And, if children are a part of the equation, how soon can I introduce the kids to my new "friend?

" Some of these questions are not the most appropriate questions for lawyers to answer.

That is especially true when your old relationship was a marriage.When it comes to meeting new people, it's a dangerous until you've signed a separation agreement (or until after your trial), because you don't want to do anything that would arouse suspicion.Even if you aren't having sex, the appearance of impropriety on your part can cause mistrust on the other side, which can slow down your divorce.You CAN see people, of course, but use your best judgment. Again, once you've signed a separation agreement, it's less risky–but it's still adultery (and therefore still a misdemeanor in Virginia) until you've got that Final Decree of Divorce with the judge's signature on it. I would say, however, that if you would be angry with your husband for having his new girlfriend over while the children are there, then it would probably be a good idea if you didn't do it either.Before you've signed an agreement, it's a very bad idea. Until there is an order preventing you from doing something (like having unrelated overnight guests when the children are present), legally speaking you are allowed to do it. It's probably also not a bad idea to consider your children and where they are in the whole process.If your husband can prove that you've committed adultery (and, remember, it's even adultery if you've already separated), you could be prevented from asking for spousal support. Would it upset them to have a new person around so quickly?If so, it's not a bad idea to put it off for a little while longer.Divorce is a difficult thing to go through and the process can sometimes take a long time to complete for some parties.During this time, people may find someone else and wonder if it is okay to date while the divorce process is still going on.They may have questions like: While the decision to date before your divorce is finalized may not directly impact the results of the case, it can be viewed negatively by the judge, especially if you have a divorce case that involves children.Bringing that new significant other around your home or your children may be difficult and confusing for your children during this time.

552 comments

  1. My husband and I are separated; does Virginia support LEGAL separation ? If so, how do we go about doing this? Since minor children are.

  2. While a legal separation is not the same as divorce, many people choose to date during this time, if they are sure a divorce from their spouse is inevitable.

  3. How you behave during a legal separation plays a big role in whatever reason you separated, be that healing your marriage or, getting a divorce.

  4. Consider the legal impact. If you are married, it is generally not advisable to date other people until the divorce is final. Dating other people can.

  5. Dating during divorce or separation can have legal consequences. Read on to find out how.

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