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Family Law Blog

Comment on divorce & family law 

Dating during divorce—should you?


Perhaps surprisingly divorce lawyers are often asked about dating.

I have no doubt that, for those who feel ready, dating would help with issues of loneliness, comfort and self esteem.

So, go for it. But take care as it may be many years since you have had to remember issues such as walking home alone, watching your drink for spiking, and how to say “goodnight” and mean it (and, whether you do or not).

Most people are changed by a divorce and the trauma of it. Many behave somewhat erratically for a while, so listen to friends advice.

But are there any legal reasons why dating whilst you are going through a divorce might be a bad idea? Could it affect the divorce settlement for example?

Grounds of divorce include unreasonable behaviour and also adultery and these could apply even if separated. But, at least theoretically, the ground chosen needs to be shown to be the thing which caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Surely it would be hard to say that this applies after a separation. But it has been.

Moving in with a new partner could affect any financial settlement, as the new partners’ resources will be relevant to how much money you are deemed to need.

So, I guess the general rule would be: date, but only casually until it’s all over, legally.

Andrew Woolley
Divorce Solicitor

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