A question many divorce lawyers hear from their clients is “Can I date during the divorce process?” There is no law that says a divorcing person cannot date, but it is highly recommended that you wait until the divorce is final before beginning to date. There are many good reasons for this.
Wasting of Community Assets
Texas does not recognize a legal separation. Therefore, all your assets are considered community property until the final divorce decree. The law specifically says that any money you earn until the final divorce decree, whether it is in your name or your spouse’s name, is community funds.
If you spend money on dating, that can be considered a waste of community funds. If you seriously choose to date before the divorce is final, even if you just go out to dinner, make sure your date pays for their own meal and you pay for yours. Otherwise, you are on a slippery slope when it comes to the division of community property.
Spending community funds on dating is a violation of the standing orders concerning the use of community funds. It is possible your soon-to-be ex-spouse may even be able to prove fraud if you try to hide any money you spend on dating. Your spouse can ask for the community estate to be reconstituted and require you to reimburse the community for the wasted funds.
It is Not Good for the Children
Divorce is confusing for children. They are often unhappy with the change in their family structure. If they are introduced to a new person, they may have resentment that will be difficult for them to overcome. They are still grieving over the loss of their living situation as they knew it.
If you can’t wait to introduce a new romantic relationship to your children, be wary of violating the law by having that person spend the night. Denton County has a morality clause that says whoever you are romantically involved with cannot be at your during certain hours of the night. You could be held in contempt of court for any violations.
Work on Yourself
Divorce is an emotional upheaval even for those who have wanted the separation. Before jumping into a new relationship, take the time now to focus on yourself. Talk to a mental health professional to be sure you are ready before you take that leap. Also, if you have children, wait at least 6 months after your divorce before introducing them to anyone.
For more information about the pitfalls of dating during the divorce process, or any other question you may have, contact Martinez Legal, P.C. to schedule a consultation.