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Can I Date While Separated In NC?


Of course, no one can stop you from dating, but the question really becomes should you date?

Having to wait one year before being able to file for divorce can mean you are still technically married for over year. Yes, that is a long time, especially for those who have been in an unhappy marriage for several years prior to the separation. Let’s consider the following issues to help you determine what may be the best choice for you.

Did Your Spouse Suspect You Were Having an Extra-marital Affair During the Marriage?

If there is a suspicion you may have had an extra-marital affair, it may be wise to delay dating until your case is settled or you are officially divorced. Evidence of post-date of separation conduct can be used to prove pre-date of separation conduct.

For example, Wife may have a platonic male friend that she confided in about her marriage troubles. Cell phone records reflect they text messaged and phoned each other daily. There was no evidence beyond this that there was anything more than a platonic relationship. If Wife then starts dating platonic male friend shortly thereafter (or becoming even more serious than dating, such as becoming engaged), that could be used to show that there may have been the opportunity and inclination to have an extra-marital affair. It gives Husband enough evidence to at least make the argument, and then it is up to the judge to make the decision on whether or not there was an extra-marital affair and how it can impact the case.

Child Custody in North Carolina Divorce

Raleigh Divorce is extremely difficult for children as most folks understand. Living in two different homes causes quite a bit of unexpected change. In addition, your children are used to mommy and daddy being together. Now they are not, and if you bring a new person into their life, it may cause confusion and jealousy.

Is it OK to Introduce a New Love Interest to Your Children?

It is not a good idea to introduce your children to multiple dating partners. They can become attached and then one day that person is out of their life because you may have ended that relationship. Your children are not spending as much time with you as they once did since they are not living with you 100% of the time, so they may not be ready to “share you” with someone else during their limited time with you.

It is very important to take your time before introducing romantic partners to your children so they do not have people coming in and out of their lives constantly. It is also advisable to slowly introduce the idea of a new person so they can get used to the idea of how the divorce has changed their life and get used to the idea that mommy and daddy may have other people in their life.

I would suggest not introducing new partners until you have been dating the person at least six months to ensure it is a stable relationship. If you have a decent relationship with your children’s other parent, it may not be a bad idea to give them a heads up you are making this introduction so when your children go back home to the other parent’s home and start talking about this person or have questions, they are prepared to address the issue.

Consider how you would feel if you were in their shoes.

Have You Considered Your New Love Interests Background?

In addition, especially if you have an ongoing custody case, consider whether your new romantic interest has any issues that may cause concern from the other parent or the judge hearing your case.

Unfortunately, many people do not disclose negative personal history until a level trust has been established. This could impact your child custody case during your separation. Make sure you consider these factors prior to dating ESPECIALLY when it regards children.

  • Do they have a criminal record?
  • What are the contents of the record?
  • Any diagnosis of a mental illness?
  • Addiction issues?

It is important that you know the other person’s history/issues so you can make an educated decision when deciding to have a relationship with someone that may potentially cause you to have problems concerning child custody.

Don't Forget to Focus on Your Family's Needs or Your Own Personal Needs

Going through a Raleigh divorce is a traumatic life event, along the lines of the death of a close loved one. You will be experiencing significant emotional and financial issues.

In addition to your issues, if you have children, they may be having difficulties with the divorce as well. It can be very helpful to use the one year period of separation to focus on you and your family by seeking the help of a therapist for you and/or your children, attending a support group, reconnecting with platonic friends to build your support system, learning new hobbies, etc. rather than dating.

It is important to give yourself time to heal from the heartbreak of separation and find out who you are now that you are no longer part of the marital unit. This will ensure that when you do find the next great love of your life, you are the best “you” that you can be.

Our Raleigh Family Law Firm Can Help with Your Divorce

No one enters marriage expecting to divorce, but it is an unfortunate part of life. If you are preparing to separate from your spouse, it is best to schedule a consultation with a Raleigh divorce attorney who can guide you through the divorce process. Our legal team at the Doyle Law Group, P.A. are here to support you. We will aggressively fight for your case when needed, but exercise diplomacy to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.

Schedule a consultation by completing the form or calling the number below.

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