For some people, as soon as they decide to get a divorce, they are ready and eager to move on with their lives and start dating again. However, it is important to understand that just because you have made your decision and have filed for divorce, the actual process can take several months or even years to finalize. Under California law, you must wait at least six months to have your divorce finalized by the state. The wait can be even longer for divorces that involve disputes over child custody, division of major property and assets, and spousal support.
So, the question becomes whether you should stay single until your divorce is finalized or whether you can jump back into the dating pool as soon as you file. Technically speaking, no one is holding you back from dating again. However, dating can impact certain aspects of your divorce – especially if children are involved.
No Rule to Stay Single During Divorce Proceedings
Getting divorced can be very emotionally taxing, as well as lonely. It is understandable if you want to seek comfort and support during this time. And it is your right to do so. California is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that you do not have to blame your spouse or finger point to get a divorce. You must only tell the court that you have irreconcilable differences to end your marriage. In other words, you only have to tell the state that you and your spouse have differences that you cannot work out.
Since no one has to take the blame in order to file for divorce, infidelity or the appearance of infidelity does not really matter. Your soon-to-be ex-spouse cannot use the fact that you are dating someone else before the divorce is finalized against you in divorce court. He or she may not be happy about it, but can’t use it to their benefit when it comes to spousal support or division of marital assets.
Dating Can Impact Child Custody
Although dating before your divorce is finalized can’t impact your ability to get a divorce, it can impact one major part of your divorce – child custody. Your divorce cannot be finalized until you and your spouse have agreed to all the terms of your split, including custody of your children. If your spouse learns that you are dating someone else that they don’t want your children to be around, they might use it to demand sole custody or refuse to negotiate on your terms.
As such, although dating can’t prevent you from getting a divorce, it can potentially stall the divorce and extend the period it takes for it to finalize.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Divorce Attorney
If you are going through a divorce or planning to file for divorce, it is important that you have a knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Central Valley divorce attorney, please call Gurjit Srai (209) 323-5558 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.