Let’s face it: divorce is a very stressful process. Many men choose to deal with that stress by going out and dating. Needless to say, dating during a divorce is not the wisest of choices. While you may think this is a great way to move on from the immense amounts of grief and anger you are experiencing, it’s a behavior that can cause damage to your court case.
The old saying is true: “marry in haste, repent at leisure.” Numerous research studies have looked into the success rate of relationships that begin during a divorce, and few of them last. A rebound relationship is probably not your ticket to happiness during a divorce.
Why specifically is this not a good idea?
If custody or financial issues are still being resolved, the court is going to question why you’re in such a hurry to move on. If your ex is fighting hard in court, and you’re already hitting the dating trail, it looks bad, as if one spouse is taking things seriously and the other is not.
In the state of Georgia, there are 13 grounds for divorce. By law, one of those grounds is irreconcilable differences. If one party feels the marriage is “irretrievably broken”, then they can file for divorce. This is considered a “no-fault” divorce.
Georgia also allows for a “fault” divorce, thus accounting for the other 12 grounds. These are all reasons that allow one spouse to claim that the other caused, or is “at fault” for, the breakup of the marriage. Adultery is one of those reasons.
Imagine a spouse that finds out you are sleeping with someone before the divorce is finalized. You better believe it will be brought up in court. By accusing you of a “fault” divorce, it opens up the door for her to potentially take you to the cleaners.
You may feel that beginning to date again is a signal that you have moved on, that you have left your old marriage behind. That might not be true. A general rule of thumb is that it takes about a year to process all the changes that take place during a divorce.
Address changes, having to tell your side of the story to friends and family, and the feeling that you are older and yet single again, are just some of the significant mental and emotional changes that accompany divorce. Just because you are ready for a divorce doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve processed this major life change. You might not be ready to fully move on, so jumping into another relationship might not allow you the space to catch your breath.
Your kids are already going to have a tough time processing that their parents relationship is over without you bringing another partner into the mix. Especially if you decide to make it a live-in relationship, when that relationship ends, the children will be left holding the bag yet again. Many counselors warn that children who see relationships continually ending learn a lesson that it’s not safe to be in a close relationship.
What message are you sending to your children when you are willing to start a new relationship so quickly before the ink is dry on your divorce agreement?
It’s in your best interest to slow down and devote your mental and financial resources to maximizing the outcome in your divorce settlement. You certainly don’t want to engage in behavior that makes it difficult for your attorney to represent you well in court.
If you need advice for your divorce case, Family Matters Law Group stands ready to hear your story and fight for you. We are selective about the cases we take because we believe in our clients and fight hard for them. If you are in Henry, Clayton, or Fayette counties, or live in the Atlanta metro area, contact us online or by phone for an initial consultation.