Is there any risk to dating before you finalize your divorce?

Divorce, especially if you share children with your spouse, can take months to finalize. You may not want to be alone for that entire time.  

Once you start living separately or have decided to file for divorce, you might start thinking about finding a new romantic partner. Are there any risks if you start dating before you finalize your divorce? 

Do you have a marital agreement that addresses infidelity?

If you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement with your spouse that authorizes penalties for infidelity, dating during your divorce might trigger those penalties. Dating during divorce when you have a marital agreement could come back to haunt you — especially if you introduce your children to your new partner or share information about your budding romance on social media. 

Dating during the divorce could affect the outcome

If you separate from your spouse but don’t file for divorce, you might hope to negotiate a settlement with them before you file. When they find out about your new relationship, that could have a chilling effect on your negotiations 

Additionally, if your spouse can show the court that you have a new relationship, they might be able to file for divorce based on adultery or amend a previous filing. If the court affirms claims of infidelity, your new relationship could affect everything from alimony obligations to how the court divides your personal property. Connecticut allows family law judges to consider marital misconduct and dissipation of assets due to infidelity when splitting up your property in some situations.  

Waiting until after the court to finalize your divorce, especially for public statements about your new relationship, will give you more protection than trying to jump in to a new relationship right away.