It’s common for people to feel like they want to “get back out there” soon after they realize that their marriage is over. [Sometimes, the fact that a spouse has found someone else is the reason for the divorce.] And though I cannot dictate anyone’s personal life, I do have an opinion about how my clients should conduct themselves during the process of divorce.
In short, the way you go about dating during the divorce proceedings can have a profound impact on how expensive, dragged out, and/or antagonistic your case becomes.
The Short Answer: Yes, You Can Date — in Colorado
I should start by saying that some states are “fault” divorce states and some are “no-fault” divorce states. If you’re in a state where there are fault divorces, essentially the other party could seek to blame you and your actions for the dissolution of the marriage; cheating is a common reason cited.
If you are in a fault divorce state, it is strongly recommended that you do not date until your divorce is finalized.
However, Colorado is a no-fault divorce state. The Court does not care why you’re getting divorced, it only cares about determining the best and most fair way to divide assets and debts.
In other words, technically speaking, dating while you’re going through a divorce proceeding shouldn’t affect the outcome of your divorce.
But then again, that’s assuming that your soon-to-be-former-spouse doesn’t harbor any feelings of resentment, animosity, jealousy or any number of other emotions that flare up during divorce proceedings. And since we’re all human and even the most cool and collected people can act out when under duress (say, when they’re going through a divorce), I strongly recommend that you do not do the three following things:
#1: Do Not Allow Dating to Affect Your Relationship with Your Kids
If all of a sudden you choose to spend all your free time with your new significant other instead of with your children, it will likely be used against you when the Court is determining what is in the best interest of the children.
#2: Do Not Spend Significant Amounts of Money
If you start buying your new significant other expensive gifts and taking expensive trips with him or her, it is likely that this will be raised by the other side and you will be penalized for it. After all, it’s only fair that if you rack up $10,000 in credit card debt to buy your new boyfriend or girlfriend a Rolex, your former spouse should not be responsible for half of that watch.
#3: Do Not Rub It In
If your new significant other spends the night and the next morning the mother or father of your children is picking up the kids, don’t have the new, younger lover answer the door in nothing but a towel. And along similar lines, avoid publishing photos on social media. This is only going to inflame the situation and make it harder for you in the long run.
We Are Only Human
In the end, it comes down to this: the more amiable your husband or wife is, the easier and quicker the divorce process will be. Sure, he or she may assume or even be aware that you’re seeing other people, but it’s really different if that information is in the back of their mind versus flaunted in front of them… and the kids.
If you’re ever unsure as to whether you should or shouldn’t take an action, just ask yourself, “Is this going to make my former spouse want to cut my throat? And do I really want to have to negotiate with someone who wants to cut my throat?”
In sum, try to keep things in perspective and make smart choices. There’s nothing to stop you from dating in a no-fault divorce state… as long as you are smart, responsible and discreet about it.
Are you going through a divorce? Don’t go through it alone. Call us at 303-449-1873 to set up a free consultation.