Can I Date During a Divorce?

divorce lawyers las vegasDivorce is an opportunity to kick-start the next phase of your life. You get to decide who you want to be after your divorce. That could mean finding new hobbies, moving to a new location, getting a new job, or starting a new relationship. While you are not legally prohibited from dating while the divorce is still pending, there are important considerations to take into account in deciding whether to do so or not. If you do choose to date, you need to consider the affects it will have on your pending divorce case. Experienced divorce lawyers in Las Vegas know that there are reasons why you might want to limit dating activity or at least keep it off of social media until the divorce is finalized.  Below, we discuss a few of the issues to consider when deciding whether to date while your divorce case is active.

 No Fault Divorce

Nevada, like every other state, allows for a no-fault divorce. In fact, Nevada is a “pure” no-fault divorce state. In other words, spouses seeking to divorce can only file for no-fault reasons such as irreconcilable differences. No one can legally allege improper behavior such as adultery as a reason to file for divorce.

However, if you are, or were, wasting marital resources on a third party, those funds could come out of your share of the marital property distribution. Waste or dissolution of marital assets may be alleged when a party spends amounts on gifts, vacations, or rent for a non-spouse. Outside of wasting your marital assets on your new relationship, you needn’t worry about fault allegations when considering whether to date or not. However, just because you can do something it doesn’t mean you should.

Child Custody Considerations

Family courts base child custody decisions on the best interests of the children. Introducing a new party into the lives of your children can be a disadvantage during the divorce process. This is particularly true if the new third party has a history of criminal behavior, mental health issues, or drug/alcohol abuse. In these instances, any qualified divorce lawyer retained by your spouse should argue that the presence of the new third party poses risks to the children. This could have a serious negative affect on a child custody determination. It’s also true that this could affect your child custody rights post-divorce. In either situation, you should carefully consider any new cohabitation arrangement when you have shared minor children.

Alimony and Cohabitation

Nevada courts may order one of several different types of alimony depending on the circumstance of the spouses. In general, alimony can be short-term with a set end date, rehabilitative, or permanent. In all cases, alimony is based upon the idea that one ex-spouse needs support from the other in order to be financially stable and independent. Any competent divorce attorney will include a clause in the final decree of divorce that ends alimony in the case of remarriage.

Additionally, since cohabitation is now so socially accepted, it may also be included as a reason to cease alimony payments. In Nevada, termination of alimony based on cohabitation usually requires that the new partner is financially supporting the recipient ex-spouse, thus removing the need for alimony payments. Merely entering into a new relationship before, during, or after your divorce does not constitute sufficient cohabitation to end the need for alimony. If you choose to date during your divorce you should nevertheless be wary. An aggressive divorce attorney on the other side may argue that your new partner is financially supporting you, thus reducing or eliminating your need for alimony.

Resolving the Divorce Amicably is Always Best

Divorces can be amicable or hard-fought. How the divorce process resolves depends in part on the complexity and significance of contested issues such as alimony, child custody, and the division of community property. It also depends on the personalities of the divorcing spouses and their relationship with one another. Dating while the divorce process is ongoing can create anger or resentment in your soon-to-be ex-spouse. In any event, you should never publicize your new relationship on social media and brag about how happy you are now. A divorce that could have been quickly and quietly resolved through your divorce lawyer’s negotiations might turn into a nasty court battle. If you can wait a few months to begin seeing other people or publicly announce the start of a new relationship, it is in your overall best interests to do so.

Legal Advice and Representation for Your Las Vegas Divorce

We are ready to lead you through all aspects of your divorce case, including division of complex assets, alimony, and child custody disputes. Our Las Vegas divorce attorneys will speak to you directly and assist you in setting up a consultation. Call our office at 702-222-4021 to speak with one of them and see if what we offer is right for you.