Risks of Dating During Divorce Should You Date While Divorcing and Can it Affect Custody of Children

Divorced Before Dating

Legally speaking, an individual does need to be fully divorced today before dating. Adultery is still a thing. The legal definition of adultery would be sleeping with someone other than their spouse. As long as they are separated, the common belief is that dating is not a big deal. This becomes a bigger issue if there are children involved and they are still working out the details of the divorce agreement or parenting plan. It is best to wait until they are fully divorced.

An Experienced Divorce Attorney’s Recommendation

An experienced divorce attorney would recommend not dating during the divorce process, because it could cause additional issues. Even if they are ready to move on and begin dating, their soon to be ex-spouse may not be and it could cause tension and additional arguments during the agreement process. Additionally, if there are children involved, bringing a third party into the custodial and parenting time arrangements could make things more complicated. Attorneys generally advise to wait until the process is officially over.

Dating with a Pending Divorce

Dating with a pending divorce could complicate the process if the married parties are not yet separated. If both of the parties are not on the same page, it could cause tension, it could cause arguments, and it could delay the process.

Could This Be Cited as a Reason Why a Marriage Fails?

Yes, this could be cited as a reason why the marriage failed.

Could This Be Cited as Marital Misconduct?

Depending on the situation, this could be cited as marital misconduct.

Asset Division

Yes, this could affect how assets are distributed in the divorce.

Separated Spouses

Dating could complicate the process, even if the married parties are separated, because there could still be potential for disagreements and tension with working out the final agreement. Also, all of those reasons for the marriage failing and marital misconducts go into a different vision of assets.


Additional ways dating with a pending divorce could complicate the divorce process include that sometimes the person that they are dating wants to get involved in the divorce process and starts making suggestions for how to divide up assets, thinking that they could get more than they are entitled. This could lead to confusing things for them as they are trying to listen to this person as well as their spouse and their attorney.

Effects on the Court Process

Yes, it can affect the court process, because if the other spouse does not take too kindly to it, they could bring it to the judge’s attention as one of the reasons the marriage failed and/or marital misconduct. Different judges have different opinions on dating during the divorce process. Some may use the division of assets as a way to deal with the fact that one or both spouses were dating during the divorce.

Common Mistakes Individuals Make When Dating While Their Divorce is Pending

The common mistakes individuals make when they try to date while their divorce is pending include introducing a new significant other to children too soon. They could listen to that significant other’s advice on division of assets or the divorce process, in general or inadvertently they could cause delays and issues with resolving all issues through an agreement.

An experienced divorce attorney could mitigate or prevent these mistakes, because they would help them spot these issues before they even happen and they could advise them on how best to deal with the situation. They would also be able to advise them specifically to their unique situation.


Dating with a pending divorce could affect children involved in the case. If someone that they are dating is introduced to the children, it could be incredibly confusing as they are already dealing with learning about the divorces and what that means. Depending on the children’s ages, being introduced to a third party could add to that confusion. It could also affect what has to be included in a parenting plan

Child Custody and Visitation

It is possible that dating could affect child custody or visitation rights. It does not happen very often, but it could, depending on the behavior of the dating spouse.


Some parenting plans have elements that prevent or prohibit a non-relative living in the house with children, and a lot do. The most common would be not just not living with a significant other, but also no overnight visits by a significant other while the children are in that residence.

Best Practices for Dating Outside a Pending Divorce

If someone insists on dating during a divorce, there are best practices for having a relationship outside of an ending marriage. This is where having both an attorney and probably a therapist would be invaluable, because this is a very unique situation for each family since there is no one cookie cutter response to this question that would fit everyone. An attorney as well as a therapist could help to best answer this question. Especially if there are children involved, they would want them to have their own therapist to open up to, as well.

Recent Blog Posts
Navigating Divorce as the Breadwinner
If you are getting divorced and you are the primary breadwinner for your family, you are probably worried about...
How Long After Filing for Divorce Is the Spouse Served?
Once you have decided to get a divorce, you might be anxious to get it over with. It can...
Does Georgia Recognize Common Law Marriage?
Couples sometimes decide to make a life together but never formalize it with a marriage. In the past, long-term...
View All Posts

Atlanta Divorce Law Group

Sara Khaki
Our Locations