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I’ve Filed for Divorce—Can I Start Dating Now?

Couple dating and flirting in a restaurant

When your marriage is ending, you may feel a sense of excitement about the world of dating and new relationship possibilities that are opening up to you. There’s a good chance that you’ve been unhappy in your relationship for a long time if you’re opting to divorce. You may be eager to look for the fulfilling relationship that you felt was missing from your life. While your desire is understandable, there may be good reasons to hold off on looking for a new love until your divorce is final. Below, learn about the ways that dating while your divorce is ongoing can be problematic. Contact a Hudson Valley family law attorney with any additional questions in regards to dating while divorce is pending.

Spending money on a new relationship can affect the division of property

Before your divorce is final, a relationship with someone other than your spouse is technically considered adultery. That said, New York is now a no-fault divorce state, so adulterous behavior—whether committed before or after you’ve filed for divorce—can’t be used against you in your divorce to result in a larger award of alimony. However, if you spend money on your new relationship before a division of property has occurred, you may be on the hook for dissipation of marital assets. Your share of the division of marital assets may be reduced by the amount that you spent on extramarital relationships. If you do choose to date during your divorce, hold off on taking your new squeeze on vacations, or on buying them expensive gifts, until you’re no longer sharing assets with your ex.

Don’t underestimate the value of good will between you and your ex

Going through a divorce can be a little less painful when you and your ex are on good terms with one another. You’ll be less likely to make demands out of spite and more likely to be sympathetic to their requests and willing to compromise on important issues. If you know that your spouse will find it hurtful to learn that you’ve begun dating someone new, this hurt could turn into a desire to exact revenge through the divorce itself. Litigation could become much costlier and time-consuming, further postponing your ability to move on and build a life with someone new.

Cohabiting can change the amount you receive in spousal support

During a divorce, you’re forced to establish a new household on a single income, rather than two, while also facing new expenses such as legal costs and child care. As a result, many splitting spouses find themselves to be short on cash. If you’ve entered a new relationship that’s going well, you may be considering moving in with your new partner to save some money. This plan can backfire, especially if you anticipate being granted spousal support. You may lose your right to receive spousal support if you live with a new romantic partner post-split. Not all cohabitation with a new partner could eliminate the right to support; a New York divorce attorney can help you determine whether living with your new partner could put your support in jeopardy.

If you’re considering filing for divorce in New York, get help from the seasoned, professional, and trustworthy Hudson Valley family law attorneys at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP in Marlboro at 845-236-4411, or in Kingston at 845-331-4100.

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