This question is frequently asked by those going through divorce, and the short answer is that there is no prohibitions on dating while waiting for the divorce to be finalized. However, there are some caveats to keep in mind.
- Manage Emotions Carefully
Emotions during a divorce can run high. Be mindful of that, and respectful of your soon-to-be ex-spouse and their feelings. Do not flaunt your dating partners in front of your ex. There is no need to ruffle those feathers, and it could adversely affect any divorce negotiations or mediation efforts on your behalf. Discretion is always good in these cases.
- Be Cautious on Social Media
This brings us to another pertinent issue during your divorce — the use of social media platforms. While it is unrealistic to shut down your accounts, be especially mindful of your posts. Do not post photos (or allow yourself to be tagged in others’ photos) that show you partying or out on dates. Do not share details of your divorce or marital troubles on social media. Remember that no accounts are truly private, and all can be subpoenaed by the court. Deleting posts could also get you into a mess, so avoid the need by not posting anything but neutral status updates or wholesome family activities with your children.
- Keep Dating Life Separate from Children
- A further concern is the effect that your dating could potentially have on your children. A general rule is to keep your dating life separate from your life with your children — during the divorce process and for a while after the divorce is completed. There is no need to introduce your kids to each man or woman with whom you share a dinner date. In fact, unless you have been serious with this person for quite a while and envision a future together with them, it is best not to bring the children into the mix. Approach Dating with Caution
It is also a good idea to approach romantic or intimate relationships with caution. Realize that you are vulnerable while in the throes of divorce and immediately afterward. This vulnerability can be exploited by narcissistic partners who may try to rush you into remarrying before you are ready. And there is another reason to put the brakes on any rush to the altar. Spend some time and introspection getting to know yourself again. Do a post-mortem on your relationship to see what exactly went wrong — and what your role was in the demise of the marriage. If needed, attend some counseling sessions to help you gain some perspective.
- Be Courtesy with Your Ex-Spouse
When you find someone with whom you would like to share your life, give your ex the courtesy of a private heads up so they do not learn of it from the kids or on social media. When you decided decide to introduce your new partner to your children, it is a also good idea to inform your co-parent. This way the other parent can be prepared to respond to questions or potential concerns of the children when they see them next.
Also, make sure that whatever your children wind up calling your new partner, it is not “mom” or “dad” or some iteration of those names. Your kids have a mom and a dad already, so choose something unique or just use their name.
The key to a good divorce when children are involved is maintaining a high level of civility and respect for all involved. This sets the right tone, and models healthy relationships for your kids. If you need assistance with any aspect of your divorce, contact Chase, Berenstein and Murray, Counselors at Law today.