Will dating while my divorce is pending be a problem? This is probably one of the most common questions heard by divorce attorneys. The answer is not a definitive yes or no. While you are free to associate with whomever you choose, it could affect the outcome of the case. It is wise to hold off on the dating scene until after your divorce is final. Emotions are raw, and seeing someone else can reignite anger and spark revenge.
Establishing a Date of Separation in Virginia
Marriages do not always come to a dramatic ending. Sometimes they fizzle out, both husband and wife exhausted by it all. Pinpointing the precise moment may not be as obvious, say, as knowing the exact date of the next complete solar eclipse as of this writing, August 21, A marriage may erode; trust may falter; a spouse may be unfaithful but the other spouse not notice right away.
If your marriage does not come to a crashing close, like the final act of an opera, you may not even understand the legal importance of the date of separation. Or, you may acknowledge it but lose track amid the fear, frustration, anger and resentment marking your days.
In Virginia, the date of separation marks the beginning of the divorce countdown. According to the Code of Virginia if you are a frequent reader of these writings, you know how we love to quote the Code of Virginia , you can file for divorce one year after separation if you have kids or six months if you have no kids. Some action must trigger the start of that countdown clock, though.
Several events qualify as dates of separation. The easiest one to enshrine legally is a property settlement agreement or separation agreement, because in it the two of you sign that you were legally separated since X date.Divorce: Date Of Separation Matters
The date of separation becomes trickier to determine if one of you cannot afford to vacate the marital home, or feels honor-bound to remain for the good of your children. You need to be crystal-clear in your intentions if you are to continue living under the same roof:. If you have children together, you can associate with each other for family functions, but other than that, you need to advertise and portray yourself as separate and intending to divorce your wife.
The date when you vacate the marital bed is your date of separation. More than just whether or not you are allowed to receive a spousal support award, dating during your divorce could also affect a property distribution judgement as well.
This means that if your spouse could prove that you were dating another party, and that your dating was the cause of the dissolution of the marriage, this could have an effect on the amounts of property and assets you are awarded.
Child custody in Virginia is determined based on the best interests of the child.
Virginia dating during separation
The best interests of the child are determined by considering a number of factors, including the needs of the child, the needs and abilities of the parents, and more. If you are dating while your divorce is pending, not only may this be considered an adulterous act, but it could also be considered one that is negligent as it pertains to your responsibilities as a parent.
You are not prohibited from dating, but it is not recommended. To learn more about what you should and should not do, and how we can help, contact us today at to schedule your consultation.
Joshua Farmer is the founder and principal attorney at Farmer Legal, PLLC, a full-service law firm serving the needs of families, individuals and businesses in Glen Allen and surrounding counties Menu Call Email Visit Search. If you are separating from your spouse in Virginia, consider the following regarding what you should know about dating during divorce: You Are Married Until You Are Divorced It may sound obvious, but some people forget that until their divorce is finalized, they are married in the eyes of the law.