Is it ok to date before you are divorced?

During a divorce, it is not uncommon for a marriage to be over well before the filing for divorce. For many, the aspect of “moving on” is paramount especially if he/she considers the divorce a formality which beg’s the question: “Is it ok to date before you are divorced?”

It may be too late, many people are already be in a relationship with someone who is not their spouse. Whether the new relationship is a crutch to get someone through a difficult time or true love is less important than the legal and emotional considerations of dating before divorce.

If this at all sounds familiar, continue reading. If not, still continue reading as the following may be of interest for you.

From a criminal standpoint cheating on your spouse in Michigan is a felony, which is a crime punishable by a minimum of one year in jail. Contrary to popular belief, adultery is still illegal in Michigan (even if a divorce is filed), however the crime is never enforced. The adultery statute is found in the Michigan penal code Act 328 of 1931, which is published in section 750.30 of the Michigan Penal Code. A

Another important reason why it is not a good idea to date during a divorce is the impact fault can have on the divorce. For example, if dating during the divorce (e.g. the affair) is determined to be a cause of the divorce, it can impact the award of property, alimony and potentially child custody.

In many ways, one’s personal life is on display during a divorce. While a court may not be directly involved in your everyday life, your spouse and his or her attorney may be scrutinizing your behavior closely. If you have minor children, even more discretion is advised. The court has an obligation to look for the best interest of the minor children in a case.

The perception of trust encourages settlement in a divorce. If settlement is close and your spouse discovers you are having an affair, the breach of trust along with other emotional considerations may make it difficult to settle the case.

A divorce process can be time-consuming and impact the entire family. Putting a halt on your love life may seem to create more stress.  Your new partner may provide solace and assistance when you need it most.

However, in the long run, keeping a significant other who is not your spouse separate from the process may overall provide less complications to your case. The legal journey of a divorce is not infinite. Take the time to focus for yourself to focus on your case, family, and preparing for a new life ahead. Hopefully, your new partner will understand this as well and help you transition into the next phase of your life after the divorce.

If you are considering dating before divorce, don’t. If you already are, use discretion because it may make settlement more difficult or impact the outcome of the divorce.


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I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for over two decades.  The attorneys at Findling Law all share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles.  We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances.That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm. We want to help you manage your situation. Allow our exceptional legal team to help you navigate the change in your life, without compromising principles.

By:  Daniel Findling

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