The attorneys at our law firm are often asked some version of the following questions:
Can I date while going through my divorce? When is it ok to start dating when going through a divorce? Can I date if we are separated?
The simple answer is NO, don’t do it. There is no legal upside to you dating while going through a divorce in Georgia and if you choose to date or be in another relationship during your divorce it can have negative consequences on your case. There is no such thing as a “legal separation” filing in Georgia unlike some other states. And if you engage in sex with someone other than your spouse while married then you have committed adultery which is a fault ground for divorce in Georgia.
Dating before being divorced can negatively impact alimony, child custody, and/or parenting time. It doesn’t mean that dating before you’re divorced WILL have a negative impact, you just need to be aware that there is risk that it MIGHT. As divorce lawyers, one of our goals is to minimize risk for you, and there is indeed risk if you decide to date or enter into a new romantic relationship prior to your divorce being finalized. This is especially true in contested cases.
Who you have dated (and everything related to that) is potentially discoverable. Do you really want to have to list out the people you have gone on dates with or provide copies of your online dating profiles? And do you think dating a new person is going to help get your case resolved when emotions are already running high? For those reasons alone it is not a good idea to date someone (or more than one person) while going through a divorce.
Of course, since every case is different and we don’t provide cookie cutter advice, please ask us how dating may impact your particular case. Different counties, different judges, and different circumstances may result in a different analysis, but generally speaking, dating during your divorce is not a good idea. Call us if you would like to learn how it might impact your situation.