Should I Date Before My Divorce is Final?
You should consider dating ONLY when you are emotionally healthy and ready to date. You should also date for the right reasons. Don’t date to make your ex jealous or to make them miss you. Don’t date to find a replacement parent for your children or to find someone to help pay the bills.
Divorce is a really hard time for anyone. I have never met someone who is going through a divorce who doesn’t appear insane at times. Most people lose weight, get depressed, can’t sleep or regulate their emotions when they are going through a divorce. In my opinion, to date during the process is an absolute absurdity. You have to figure out your own life before you can share one with someone else. Worse yet are the people who involve another person into their proceedings! Especially when there are children involved. The entire family is going through a life change so why on earth give children more to deal with? That is my opinion.
Legally, in Minnesota anyway, there is no law against it. Some judges may frown on it, but I’m not sure if any of them really care. Because of no fault divorce, it really doesn’t matter if one party has had an affair or what is causing the split, the courts don’t really care about those things.
What you should think about is you and your kids. When you are dating “the love of your life”, and by the way, wasn’t your soon to be ex “the love of your life” at one time, too? Just saying. Anyway, I digress, when you are dating this new “love of your life” you may enter into agreements about custody and visitation, for example, based on having this new “love of your life” in the picture, but what if they’re not there 6 months from now? One year from now? What happens if your children hate this new person? This is why you should not involve this person in your divorce or give any weight to their opinion what you should arrange for visitation or custody. Maybe you love them and maybe they will be there, but this was your marriage and it’s your divorce. All visitation and custody arrangements should be made with your children, yourself and your ex in mind. Those are the people you know will be involved for life. You know how your family works and what it needs. You know your schedules and the types of activities your children will be involved in down the road. You know if you will be able to count on the other parent for co parenting or if you won’t. You should plan that it may end up being all up to you. If it’s not and the other parent is great, that is wonderful, but you should prepare yourself and think about options if the other parent should not stay involved. You just never know how other people will react to something. For this same reason, you should make sure you know this new person in your life really well and I mean for years before you involve them in parenting tasks.
It is also my opinion that bringing a boyfriend or girlfriend into court with you is a bad idea. Maybe it will be upsetting to your soon to be ex and they will start making decisions based on them NOT wanting that new person involved. Why make things harder than they have to be?
I do always say that if you feel ready to date and have gotten your head together, examined your part in the failed relationship so that you can avoid the same mistakes again and again and again, go for it! Although, even if you feel you are ready to date, why do you have to make it public right now? Why make your ex aware and upset them or cause them to try to deny you parenting time and things like that. Why not just take your time and reinvent yourself and then get out there and start dating! I have never met anyone who had regrets about waiting a while to date, but I have known people who did regret dating and bringing that all into an already messy court proceeding!