Can I Swipe Right?

Dating During a Divorce

You have filed a Complaint for Divorce after being separated from your spouse for several months. Your children are with your co-parent for the evening and you’re at happy hour with your friends when someone catches your eye across the room. Your friends notice and encourage you to go say “hi,” but you’re not so sure. They grab your phone and say, “Time to get back out there!” Next thing you know, they’ve downloaded the newest dating app on your phone and are setting up your profile. But should you take the bait and swipe right?

One common question that divorce attorneys are often asked is whether it is okay to begin dating someone new while their divorce is pending. While there may not be anything prohibiting you from dating after filing for divorce, it is a personal decision that you should not make until you have carefully considered the impact that it may have on your divorce.

Is it in the best interests of your children? Consider how jumping back into the dating pool might affect your children. Divorce can be a confusing time for children. Consider your child’s age, personality, and struggles. If you have already begun dating, you should consider waiting to introduce them to a new significant other until you are in a serious, committed relationship.

Are you in a custody battle? Again, while dating might not be prohibited, some Judges may be more conservative than others. Consider whether your co-parent will raise it as an issue. If you are already at odds with your significant other, it could create further conflict and might increase the length of litigation and counsel fees. It may even affect your parenting time.

Are you seeking spousal support? If you enter a serious, committed relationship, it could affect your right to spousal support. In New Jersey, if you are cohabiting with a significant other, it could affect your spouse’s alimony obligation.

If you have concerns about dating while your divorce is pending, call a member of Cohn Lifland’s Family Law Group for practical legal advice on how dating could impact your divorce.