February 24, 2022
When you are considering divorce or you are in the process of going through a divorce in Indiana, you might be wondering if you are permitted to start dating again. While Indiana divorce law does not prevent a person from dating while they are going through a divorce, and courts do not usually consider whether or not one of the spouses has begun dating again when making financial decisions about property division or maintenance (unless the dating is serious and could affect a spouse’s economic circumstances), dating during a divorce case may affect child custody. Our Fort Wayne divorce attorneys can provide you with more information to explain how dating during a divorce can and cannot affect your case.
You should know first that, legally speaking, you are permitted to date during a divorce. To be sure, there are no laws in Indiana that prohibit the spouses from dating other people while their divorce case is underway. Even in situations where one of the spouses was dating prior to the divorce filing, the sheer fact of the dating will not impact the ability for the parties to get divorced, or the process by which the party filing for divorce will move forward with a case. Although Indiana law does still have fault-based grounds for divorce, adultery is not one of them.
Yet just because you are legally allowed to date during your divorce does not necessarily mean that you should. Depending upon the particular facts of your case, dating during your divorce could affect certain aspects of your divorce case.
Generally speaking, dating during a divorce is unlikely to affect property division or spousal maintenance, especially if you are only dating casually and not spending any money on the person you are dating. However, if you begin dating someone during your divorce and quickly move in with that person or begin sharing finances, then dating could ultimately affect what the court decides to be an equitable distribution of marital property or whether spousal maintenance is appropriate. Similarly, if you spend marital assets while dating, your spouse could allege dissipation of marital assets.
Yet dating during a divorce can certainly impact your child custody case. Given that the court will consider a wide variety of factors in determining what type of custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child, the court may consider the fact of your dating, or the character of the person or people you are dating, when determining whether it is in the child’s best interests for you to have legal or physical custody.
As such, if you have minor children from your marriage and your divorce will involve child custody issues, it may be best to avoid dating until your case has been finalized. One of our Fort Wayne divorce lawyers can say more.
If you have questions about dating during your divorce, a divorce attorney in Fort Wayne can speak with you today. Contact The Bellinger Law Office for more information.
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