Would it be considered adultery if I date while we’re separated?
Dating someone else while you’re separated and not legally divorced can be a tricky issue. Even though you are no longer with your spouse, you are still married to that person. In many states, dating someone else while you’re separated is considered adultery. However, there are numerous people who do date others while they are separated because they want the companionship that is offered. They also don’t want to put their lives on hold while waiting for the divorce to become finalized. If your spouse can prove that you are dating someone else before the divorce is final, then there could be serious ramifications that you need to consider.
If you are seeking any kind of spousal support, then dating while being separated could mean that you won’t receive that support. It’s best to speak with an attorney who understands family laws and separations. Most attorneys will usually advise against dating while you’re separated. In most states, you have to be separated for at least one year before the divorce can become final. Until the final paperwork is entered in the court, you are still married during this time. There are laws in some states that allow for alienation of affection. This action is taken against another person who the plaintiff feels had some part in ending the marriage. Dating someone soon after the separation date might be considered normal by most people, but your spouse and family members on both sides might think that you were talking to that person before you left the marital relationship. There is often a three-year statute of limitations if one person decides to file this action. There are no sexual relations required to file the action.
There are a few defenses that you can use in court. If alienation of affection has been addressed, then you could claim that there was no love between the two of you and that there was no sexual relationship between you and your spouse. You could also demonstrate that acts surrounding the alienation for affection claim didn’t begin until after the separation date. This information will likely hurt the claims made by your spouse, especially if you have witnesses and other evidence to prove that you didn’t know the person you’re dating until after you left the marital relationship.
If there is any kind of misconduct by either member of the relationship, the judge might not award spousal support. If you are seeking spousal support, then it’s best not to begin a formal dating relationship until after the divorce is final so that you stand a better chance of being granted the order by the judge. No one can control their emotions. On that note, if you feel that your life would be complete and that you have found someone who will treat you better than your spouse, then you could speak with your attorney about dating and the best way to handle the situation in court if your spouse presses the issue.
The separation agreement is more like a contract between spouses until the divorce is final. Some couples don’t draft a formal agreement and just go their own ways until the divorce is finalized. However, a separation agreement can include details about dating as well as any spousal support and child support if there are children in the relationship. If both people want to date, then you can make stipulations in the agreement that are suitable for both people involved. This is often the best way to approach dating before the divorce is final so that both of you can see other people without being punished. Once you have an agreement in place, your attorney can file the document with the court. It’s possible to change the agreement, but if it’s one that both parties agree on, then it might be best to leave it alone until you complete the paperwork to finalize your divorce.
Sometimes, a judge might develop a bias against the person who dates during the separation. Even though this is not acceptable behavior in the courtroom, it is in the human nature of people to make judgments. If the judge does look differently at your decision to date, then it could greatly impact the final decision about support and the amount of support that you receive. If you are dating someone else, then the judge might see that the other person is capable of providing financially for you instead of relying on the support of your spouse. Child support is usually not impacted as often because children are seen as innocent in the relationship.
Here’s a great article from WaistKarma.com, a retailer of the best waist trainers. Separation can be a difficult and lonely state. You’re not yet divorced, but you are likely living your life entirely on your own for the first time in years. It’s only natural that those who are moving towards the end of a marriage might decide it’s time to start dating during this period. Unfortunately, though, that’s an action that can bring with it serious long-term consequences. Before you decide to start dating while separated, you might want to consider whether the action will be considered adulterous.
Deciding on Definitions
One of the hardest things about this particular discussion is using the word adultery. It’s certainly a very charged term, one that has significant moral implications. When talking about adultery in terms of divorce, though, it’s important to stop and look at things from a strictly legal standpoint. The law tends to have its own definitions for most things and they’re often a bit different from what one would expect in one’s regular life.
Under the law, the definition of adultery as it pertains to divorce is a physical sexual act between one of the spouses and another party. Issues like separation aren’t really taken into account under the legal definition. So long as there is any kind of sexual contact between one of the two parties of a divorce and another person, adultery has been committed.
Does this mean that you are committing adultery in any other sense? Maybe not. That’s up to you and your own moral compass. It’s important, though, that you understand what the law has to say about your situation. Morality doesn’t always have a huge role to play in the world of the law.
Dating While Separated
There’s a definitive answer to having sexual contact with another person while going through a separation. What’s a little harder to understand, though, is whether dating at all can be considered adultery in the context of divorce. In most cases, it’s hard to come up with a definitive answer. It really depends upon what is happening during the dates, the state in which the parties live, and the amount of evidence that can be gathered.
In some states, having completely chaste dates wouldn’t count as adultery. Because of the necessity of sexual contact in the definition of adultery, those who aren’t engaging in physical contact can’t be committing adultery. This is still a grey area, though, as something as small as a kiss might be seen as adulterous.
On the other hand, some states view dating while separated as a form of marital misconduct. While not quite as bad as adultery in the eyes of the court, it can still be problematic for those who go through a divorce. In those cases, the mere act of dating another person can be used against one of the parties during a divorce. As such, it might be better to avoid dating altogether.
Creating a Cause
Why does any of this matter? In some states, it truly doesn’t. What one needs to be careful of, though, is the fact that adultery is one of the elements that can show that a party is at fault for a divorce. In states that still require fault for divorce, this is perhaps the quickest way to show that the marriage needs to be dissolved.
If you are separated and still want to work on your marriage, going on a date might be the fastest way to give your partner a way out of the relationship. It can also wreak havoc on things like pre-nuptial agreements, especially when there are clauses about fidelity at play. It’s always going to be the legal definition that is most important in these cases, so understanding what the law has to say is far more important than any emotional connections that may or may not have been made.
Is it considered adultery for one party to date during a separation? In the strictest sense of the word, the court would look on the act as adulterous. This may not be the case according to one’s morals or one’s agreement with one’s spouse, but it is something about which both parties should be informed. If you are afraid that your spouse will use your dating of another person as a cause for fault in a divorce, it may be best to wait until the proceedings are finished. While it may not be fair to you, it’s perhaps the best way to act in accordance with the laws of your state.