Why You Should Avoid Dating During Mississippi Divorce

Many divorcing spouses are eager to re-enter the dating world.  Often, one’s marriage has been effectively “over” long before the divorce papers were signed.  Given the emotional toll of divorce and its isolating effect, it is natural that some soon to be divorcees desire to re-enter the dating world as soon as possible.  However, dating before your divorce is final can be dangerous to your case, as well as to you and your family.  Here is a list of reasons why you should avoid the temptation to date before you are completely divorced:

  1. Dating can negatively impact your spousal support and property division – dating could impact your divorce in a few ways, including financially.  If you plan to move in with your new partner, it can impact your receipt of spousal support and even property division.  Further, dating while still married is a form of adultery in Mississippi and can be grounds for fault based divorce.  You do not want to give your partner the ability to use this fault ground against you.
  2. Dating can negatively impact child custody – dating can become a factor in child custody determinations.  A court looks to a parent’s “moral fitness” in determining the best interests of the child for custody decisions, and dating while still wed, even if the marriage feels over for you, can have negative implications.  Further, courts will want to address whether the new partner is being left alone with the children or spending a significant amount of time with them.  If your new love interest has a criminal record or somewhat unsavory character, you could lose time or even custody of your children due to dating this individual.  Generally speaking, for a child custody determination, dating is not going to be positively viewed in court.
  3. Dating can lead to jealousy, anger, and in turn less cooperation from your spouse or even retaliation – uncovering your soon to be ex-spouse is dating another individual before the divorce is even final can naturally lead to feelings of anger and jealously.  When you are trying to negotiate a favorable divorce settlement, these are not the emotions you wish to evoke in your former spouse.  Dating while divorcing may cause a breakdown in negotiations or revocation of a previously reached agreement.  It may even cause your spouse to act irrationally, seeking retaliation.  Possible retaliatory acts could include requesting sole custody, fighting against an alimony obligation, or reneging on a previously reached property settlement agreement.
  4. It can harm you emotionally – you are just leaving a marriage and emotions are undoubtedly high.  Divorce is a psychologically traumatic event for anyone to experience.  Starting a new relationship before you have completed your divorce and been single for awhile can be emotionally damaging for you, as well as for your new partner.
  5. Your children may suffer – there is no way around it, divorce is hard on children.  Children are often trapped in the middle of a divorce, feeling like their family is being broken apart.  This is a time when your children need all the focus and attention you can muster.  Adding another individual to the mix at this crucial time in a child’s life is generally not in their best interest.

Matthew S. Poole is a compassionate Jackson MS divorce attorney who understands your desire to re-enter the dating world.  Matthew has extensive experience advising divorcing couples on the do’s and don’ts of divorce, and will ensure you do not inadvertently harm your divorce case through dating or any other actions.  Call The Law Office of Matthew S. Poole today at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free case analysis.

Tags: ,