Originally published by Evan Hochshild.
You’ve moved out, gotten your own place, and you have started to think about moving on with your life. You have started to notice other people when you go out and think it would be nice to finally spend time with, someone who appreciates being with you. While dating may sound like a good idea to you, before you do there are some problems you should consider.
While in general there is no law in Texas preventing a person from doing so, it is not a smart idea to date anyone while your divorce is pending before a court. While it may seem harmless, the effects can be long-lasting and extremely detrimental to your case. The best advice a Houston Divorce Lawyer can give you is do not do it.
Your Uncontested Divorce becomes Contested
For starters, if the other spouse finds out about the extra-marital affair it’s likely that what could have been a straightforward divorce could turn into a contested matter. It is pretty simple to see why- the spouse will feel wronged, will feel hurt and will most likely do whatever he/she can to exact some pain from the cheating partner.
Whether it’s pushing hard to restrict the unfaithful spouse’s access to the children or simply not giving in on seemingly meaningless pieces of personal property, the effects can impact multiple areas of the parties’ divorce case.
Dating during a Divorce May Affect Custody
On a purely personal level, it’s probably for the best to avoid entering into a relationship prior to being divorced as well. Children (if the spouse has any) are going to be affected by this new relationship even if the person does not think so. Children are perceptive and pick up on things like their mother or father showing more interest in another person than them. This can lead to alienation of affection.
For a divorcing spouse, the process that they are going through is stressful as it is. Adding in a new relationship during the divorce only adds to those stresses. In a time of turmoil- where the lives of their family is being turned upside down temporarily, it’s my opinion that a divorcing spouse is not equipped to deal with the emotional components of a new romance.
Dating another person during the divorce can show the court that a parent is not attuned to the feelings of their children. This can have an impact on the amount of time they’re able to spend with the children while the divorce is ongoing.
Having less parenting time will certainly give a person more time to spend in their new relationship but ultimately it’s unlikely that this will be as fulfilling to a person as spending time with the kids.
If a divorcing spouse moves in with their new partner, it can mean trouble in the area of child and spousal support as well. A court can take this fact into account when deciding appropriate levels of support to award. Having an extra income essentially available to the spouse can cause higher than normal amounts to be ordered.
WHAT IS ADULTERY IN TEXAS?
Under Texas Family Code section 6.003 adultery is a legal term in Texas that means the voluntary sexual intercourse of a married person with one not the spouse.
Adultery can Impact How Property is Divided
Finally, infidelity can have an impact on how property is awarded. Although, Texas is a no-fault divorce state which essentially means that neither party necessarily has to prove the other spouse did anything wrong in order to get a divorce.
Judges are human, and while they attempt to be fair, they too can be swayed by the actions of persons outside of their court. As touched on previously if your financial situation has improved because of a new partner, the court could award a higher percentage of the property available to the faithful spouse who is attempting to make it through the divorce on their own.
While engaging in a new relationship during a divorce may distract and temporarily make a person feel better, in the long run it rarely makes a situation better from my experiences. The attorneys at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan understand that our clients are adults but when clients engage in behavior that is detrimental to their case it is the job of an attorney to point that out and attempt to improve the position of our clients. If you are considering a divorce, contact our office today for a consultation that is free of charge.
In short, the best thing to do while separated is to stay single. However, If you must start dating, do consult with your Houston divorce lawyer before beginning to see someone romantically and discuss your options.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
Other Articles you may be interested on regarding Adultery
- Can I sue my spouse’s mistress in Texas?
- When is, Cheating Considered Adultery in a Texas Divorce?
- Sex, Lies, Rock-and-roll, and Adultery in a Texas Divorce
- Can I Sue My Spouse for Mental Abuse in My Texas Divorce?
- 6 things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas
- Texas Divorce Morality Clause: Be Careful What You Ask For
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it’s important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.
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