Divorce proceedings can be emotionally draining and difficult to navigate. The process of separating from a spouse involves many complex issues, such as property division, parenting time, and financial support. For people with children, proceedings for child custody can make the divorce process even more challenging. During this time, some people may seek comfort through a romantic relationship.
However, to start dating if you are separated in Illinois can have significant legal and financial consequences. In this article, we will explore the costs of dating during divorce, the do's and don'ts of dating, and whether a court can issue an order that prohibits you from dating.
The Costs of Dating if You Are Separated in Illinois
Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, meaning the court will not consider marital misconduct when deciding on alimony or dividing assets. However, dating while separated in Illinois can still harm the divorce process. It could result in serious legal and financial consequences.
For instance, the dissipation of assets refers to using marital money for non-marital purposes. If you spend money on your romantic partner during the marriage, your spouse can file a dissipation of assets claim against you. Examples of dissipation include spending money on expensive gifts for your partner, taking them on lavish vacations, or paying for their living expenses. If a finding of dissipation is made, you may be required to reimburse your spouse for the money you spent on your partner.
Moreover, if you are suspected of dating multiple people or engaging in extramarital relationships, your spouse may question your fitness as a parent. A spouse who is dating during divorce proceedings may be seen as less committed to their children, which can affect the outcome of child custody issues.
Is it a New Relationship or an Affair?
It is necessary to distinguish between a new romantic relationship and an affair. If you are separated from your spouse but still legally married, engaging in an intimate dating relationship with someone else can be considered adultery.
Adultery is a criminal offense in Illinois, and it can affect the property division process, future maintenance, and child custody issues. However, if you live separately and are not in a marriage-like relationship with your spouse, dating someone else may not be considered adultery.
You must also understand the impact of filing for divorce on your ability to date. When you file a petition for dissolution of marriage, Illinois law requires both parties to list all assets, liabilities, and income. Any lifestyle changes after the petition is filed can be considered by the court when making decisions about alimony and property division.
So, if you start dating someone new before the divorce is finalized and your spouse believes it has affected the case, they may file a motion to amend it. The court can then consider your dating life when deciding on alimony, property division, etc.
The Don'ts of Dating During a Divorce
While dating during divorce proceedings may seem like an exciting way to move on, there are several things you should avoid doing:
- Don't engage in intimate or sexual relationships with multiple people.
- Don't introduce your children to your dating partner until you are certain the relationship will last.
- Don't spend marital money on your dating partner.
- Don't flaunt your new relationship on social media.
- Don't involve your dating partner in divorce issues like property division or parenting time.
- Don't promise your dating partner about your future until the divorce process is complete.
The Do's of Dating During a Divorce
While there are many things you should avoid doing while dating during divorce proceedings, there are also some things you can do to protect yourself and your interests:
- Do invest time in your new relationship, but don't neglect your responsibilities as a parent or spouse.
- Do be honest with your dating partner about your situation and the nature of your divorce case.
- Do seek the advice of a family law attorney before engaging in any new relationships.
- Do be respectful and discreet in your dating life.
- Do consider attending counseling to work through the emotional challenges of divorce and dating.
Can a Court Issue an Order that Prohibits Us From Dating?
A court can issue an order that prohibits you from dating. Suppose your spouse can prove that your dating is detrimental to the children or affects the property division process. In that case, a judge may issue an order prohibiting you from dating until the divorce process is complete.
Also, suppose your spouse files a petition for the dissipation of assets and can prove that you spent marital money on someone else. In that case, the court may issue an order prohibiting you from dating until the proceedings are complete. For instance, if you spent marital money on an engagement ring for someone else, the judge may issue an order prohibiting you from getting engaged until the divorce is final.
Call Today and Speak to Our Divorce Attorney!
Divorce is undoubtedly one of the most challenging experiences one can face in life. It can be emotionally draining and difficult for everyone involved, including children. Overall, it is essential to approach dating during a divorce with caution and to be respectful of your spouse and children throughout the process.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to prioritize your well-being and your family's well-being and work towards a fair outcome that allows you to move forward into a happier and more fulfilling future.
Seeking the advice of an experienced divorce lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of divorce proceedings and ensure your interests are protected. At Tommalieh Law, we understand the emotional and financial strain that divorce can cause. Our team of divorce lawyers is here to guide you through every step of the process and ensure you receive a fair outcome. Call us today at (708) 232-0017 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced divorce lawyers.