What Happens If I Start Dating During Divorce?

The divorce process can be lonely, especially if you haven’t either been in love or felt desirable for a long time. That is why it is not uncommon for divorcing individuals to long to meet someone new and feel loved again by returning to the dating scene. 

But you may be wondering if it is okay to start dating during a divorce. Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, which means both spouses can end a marriage without blaming each other, so long as you show proof of “irreconcilable differences” have caused the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage. Therefore, you cannot use fault-based grounds like adultery to file for divorce. 

However, dating may affect the following aspects of divorce: 

  • Property division – If you spend marital funds—including pay—on a romantic interest when there are irreconcilable differences in the marriage, this is considered “dissipation.” The spouse who is dissipating or spending the funds must pay them back for the purpose of property division. 

  • Spousal support – If you are receiving temporary alimony during the divorce and you decide to move in with a romantic partner, this is considered cohabitation, which can be grounds for either reduction or termination of spousal support. 

  • Child custody – Since children may take a divorce the hardest, it is more important than ever for parents to help them through this difficult and trying time. If a divorcing parent starts dating, the other parent may try to use this as evidence of ignoring your parental duties and obtain custody of the children. 

  • Amicable divorce – Dating someone new may upset your spouse enough to cause additional conflict and disagreements throughout the divorce proceedings, which can make it more difficult to reach a final agreement. A longer divorce is more expensive divorce. 

Remember, avoid dating until you and your spouse are physically separated. Do not bring your new partner around your children, since this will likely make them uncomfortable and more upset. 

If you are interested in filing for a divorce in Chicago, call the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. at (312) 487-2795 or fill out our online contact form today to learn how we can help you. Serving clients throughout Illinois since 2009. 

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