Inevitably, most people will want to date at some point following separation from their spouse. The following three points should be explored before you start dating:
- How will dating effect your children outside the courtroom? Parents should be sensitive to how their children are feeling during the divorce process. It is difficult for many children to cope with the separation of their parents. Introducing a new girlfriend or boyfriend too soon can add unnecessary stress and anxiety to your children. Consider how your child is adjusting to your separation before you introduce another person into your child’s life.
- Will a child custody court penalize me for dating? The custody court is
required to consider all factors that effect the best interests of the child. This means that the court can look closely at your conduct and interactions with others if this affects the children. Additionally, the court must considered whether a parent or household members has a criminal or abuse history. Therefore, divorcing spouses who have child custody issues should consult with their experience child custody attorney before deciding to live with a new boyfriend/ girlfriend, especially if that individual has a criminal or abuse history.
- Can my spouse use dating against me in our divorce case? Adultery is one of
several fault grounds in Pennsylvania. However, even if fault grounds exist, most divorces proceed on no-fault grounds with the spouses consenting to the divorce following the ninety day waiting period or the divorce is granting following the one year separation period. Fault ground divorces require trials, which are very expensive. Additionally, fault is not a factor for the court to consider in valuing or dividing marital property. Therefore, many spouses choose not to proceed on fault grounds.