If this were a meme, this is a question would be followed by “asking for a friend”. You’d be amazed at how often we get asked that – people who want advice on how soon they can start dating again, despite the fact that their marriage isn’t officially over yet. And the truth is, we get it. In many cases, filing is the final stage in the death of a marriage.
The relationship has been emotionally over for so long, that filing the paperwork is just a formality. In their hearts and minds, the spouses have already moved on. So dating doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, especially when for them the marriage ended years before. But in the world of divorce, technicalities matter!
So should you start dating, or shouldn’t you?
The truth is – there is no “one right answer” to that question. It’s going to be different for everyone, depending on your situation and circumstances. There are actually many people who choose to start new relationships once they’ve made the decision to end their marriages, and if the split is amicable, and your spouse isn’t likely to try and use your new relationship against you, then it probably won’t be a big deal.
However, if your divorce is a hot mess, or you and your spouse can’t exchange three words without a fight, then dating is probably a bad idea. Contested divorces, where every inch of ground is fought over, are breeding grounds for resentment and bitterness. If you and your spouse are at each other’s throats and will use any angle to gain an advantage, then dating before the divorce is official sounds like you’re just handing your spouse ammo to use against you in a custody battle.
To Tinder or not to Tinder, that is the question…
It all depends on you. If you and your spouse are both reasonable people who have agreed that your marriage is over and you’re both ready to move on into new lives, then what’s to stop you? Sign up for Tinder, Bumble, OKCupid, or whatever dating app floats your boat if you want to. After all, in Michigan there is a required waiting period of several months after you file for divorce before it’s going to be official, so you have some time to kill.
But if dating is something you’d have to hide from your spouse because the news of your new partner would be badly received, then our advice is: don’t. And here’s the tricky part – divorce is an emotional time. There’s really no way to know how your spouse is going to react to the news that you’ve started a new relationship. They may seem fine at first and then decide over a period of days or weeks that they feel betrayed. You may think you’re in the clear and then discover that they’re furious at you. So your best bet is to be very careful, and think through your choices well before you make them!
Talk to your attorney before making any big relationship moves.
The truth is, this is a subject best discussed with your attorney. Dating before the divorce is official can have a huge impact on the process, slowing it down considerably if your soon-to-be-ex doesn’t take kindly to being replaced so quickly. So before making any moves that could impact the outcome of your divorce, or lengthen the process, discuss your options with your attorney. If you got a good one, they’ll be able to give you sound advice on the matter.
Here at The Kronzek Firm, our skilled and experienced family law attorneys understand how much is on the line when you file for divorce. We know how complex and emotionally charged the process is, and we can help you with each and every aspect of your divorce, from start to finish. So if you’re ready to move on, call 866 766 5245 today and get good advice from people who know exactly what your next step should be.