While going through a divorce, some people have begun the journey of moving on from their past relationship by starting to date. In some states, there are strict laws about dating while still married. However, in Texas, there is no rule that states you cannot see someone new while in the process of filing for divorce. However, just because it’s legal to do so, there are a few reasons why you might want to wait. Keep reading to find out why.
Is Dating During a Divorce Considered “Adultery”?
In Texas, you can file for a divorce under fault or no-fault grounds. One of the fault-based grounds, also commonly known as reasons, for divorce is adultery. Therefore, the court may consider dating while in the middle of divorce proceedings as “adultery” even if the couple has been separated and living apart.
According to Texas law, a spouse commits adultery when the relationship is of sexual nature. Therefore, just a casual dinner date or messaging someone on a dating website are not likely to be considered adultery.
Dating while technically married could impact your divorce in a couple of different ways, including:
- Property division
- Child custody
Alimony and property division are far more likely to be affected by dating than child custody matters. Only in extreme cases, like a parent abandoning their child to go on a date, would custody be impacted by “adultery.” However, if your spouse can prove that your dating life is severely impacting their best interests, your custody or visitation rights could be in danger.
Alimony and property division, on the other hand, can be impacted because Texas divorce laws have strict measures to determine how to award spousal support and dividing marital property. For example, because Texas is a community property state, the court may decide to award more property to one spouse if they find that a new relationship is a reason for the divorce.
In terms of alimony, adultery does not impact whether or not a spouse will obtain support. It does, however, have a direct effect on determining the amount of spousal support. Therefore, if the court decides adultery resulted in the divorce, alimony payments could be reduced.
If you are questioning whether or not you should date while getting a divorce, consider how it may impact the outcome of your divorce. But a good rule of thumb is to wait until the divorce is final. Although you may have good intentions, this may not be relayed the same way in the eyes of the court.
If you have a question about the divorce process, don’t hesitate to reach out to our San Antonio divorce lawyers at The Law Office of Rebecca J. Carrillo by calling (210) 405-6623 today.