So, you’ve decided to divorce your partner, and might not be living together anymore. Since you’ve filed for divorce and the proceedings are underway, eventually a judge will sign the necessary papers and legally dissolve your marriage. If this feels familiar, you might be wondering if you can start dating again.
So, Can You Date Someone Before Finalizing Divorce in New Jersey?
You are free to date while awaiting the finalization of your divorce. But, keep in mind that until your marriage is dissolved by a court, you are not actually divorced in the eyes of the law. Dating someone in the middle of a divorce can sometimes have negative consequences during your divorce.
Consider the following:
- Settlement: Because you are still married, dating before divorce can be labeled as an extramarital affair. This may complicate settlement of your case by having to now address the issue of an extramarital affair, instead of simply focusing on dissolving your marriage.
- Child Custody: If the court decides that your new relationship has taken away financial resources or overall care of your child, your custody and parenting time arrangement could change. Also, if your new partner has drug or alcohol abuse issues, the court may decide that the person you are dating is not fit to be around your child, further impacting your custody and visitation rights.
- Emotions: Dating someone else might make your child uncomfortable or upset, and your spouse offended or angry. An agitated ex could make claims on behalf of your child’s wellness that may lead to a more complicated and drawn-out divorce.
I Still Want To Date Someone Else Before Finalizing Divorce. What Should I Do?
Technically, it is not illegal to date someone else before finalizing your divorce in New Jersey. If you do decide to date someone else before divorce is finalized, you should keep your dating life private but not completely hidden from your ex, and regularly update your new partner. Before introducing your new partner to your children, you should have a discussion with your ex and reach an agreement on how and when to introduce the children.
If you are researching divorce matters in New Jersey and have more questions, please know that you are not alone. We have many other posts regarding divorce, from divorce vs. annulment to addressing divorce complaints, and if you would like to talk to an experienced family law attorney in NJ, you can schedule a free consultation with us at 973-922-1035.
Maria A. Giammona Law has been providing caring and compassionate representation for family law matters in Totowa, Wayne, West Milford, Woodland Park and throughout Passaic County for over 20 years. We’ll patiently look at every aspect of your situation and help you determine the best strategy for your family.