What You Should Know About Dating During Your Divorce

dating, Arlington Heights divorce lawyersIf you are in the midst of a divorce, there is a very good chance that you feel like your marriage has been over for quite some time. The legal proceedings associated with divorce are important steps toward your new life, of course, but from a personal standpoint, you have probably started to move on already. As the divorce process continues, you might be tempted to start a romantic relationship with a new partner. The thrill of a new relationship, along with the feelings of appreciation and empowerment that often come with it, can certainly be attractive. Depending on your situation, however, you may want to avoid dating someone new until your divorce is finalized.

Legal Concerns

According to the laws that govern divorce in Illinois, you are not prevented from seeking a new romantic relationship while your divorce is ongoing. If you decide that dating is right for you, it is important for you to keep track of how you pay for your dates. You can use your own money, of course, but if you are found to be spending marital assets on your new partner, your spending could be considered dissipation. Dissipated funds will need to be paid back to the marital estate before it is divided.

You should also be careful about how public your new relationship is. Technically, Illinois law still recognized adultery as a misdemeanor criminal offense. Sexual intercourse with someone who is not your spouse could be prosecuted as a crime “if the behavior is open and notorious.” It has been decades since an Illinois resident was prosecuted for adultery, but such a prosecution is still possible.

Practical Matters

When you date during your divorce, most of the effects will probably be indirect. You are likely to feel more happy, confident, and strong as you approach your case, which could give you a sense of control over the situation. Your spouse, however, could react to your newfound happiness with anger triggered by feelings of regret or spite. This could lead to him or her being less willing to budge on issues related to the divorce. As a result, you could be facing increased costs in terms of both time and money.

You should also be careful not to become so involved with dating that you neglect your other important responsibilities, such as those regarding your children. If you are not cautious with how you are spending your time—and with whom—your spouse could attempt to paint you as a negligent parent. Keep in mind, the court has the authority to act on even just the appearance of danger or impropriety, and it may be best not to take any chances.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Divorce Attorney

Some divorcing couples set ground rules regarding dating during the divorce process, but for others, the situation is much more complicated than they ever thought possible. If you are facing the possibility of a divorce, contact an experienced family lawyer in Arlington Heights for guidance. Schedule a free consultation by calling 847-253-3100 today.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+11+Subdiv%2E+25&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=20300000&SeqEnd=21000000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

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