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Family Law Blog

Can You Date During Separation Before a Divorce?

Published: May 21, 2018 in Separation

Written by Anthony Piccirilli

Couples often decide to separate to see if they want to continue their marriage or if they are happier living apart. You may find that you prefer to live without your spouse, but you are still yearning for the company of another adult. Many people wonder if they may date during separation, or if they must wait until their divorce is official. A Pittsburgh separation lawyer will tell you that dating during separation is legally allowed, but there are some factors to consider before you rejoin the dating world.

If you have questions about separation, or you and your spouse need help drafting a separation agreement, let the experienced separation lawyers at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC assist you. To schedule a no-cost consultation, contact us at (412) 471-5100.

Make Your Separation Official

In Pennsylvania, spouses are required to live apart for at least a year before they can file for a divorce. During the mandatory separation, you are allowed to work out a custody agreement for your minor children, and you may be able to receive child support and even alimony. Filing a separation agreement is not mandatory, but it provides an official “start date” for your separation, which can be beneficial for many reasons, including:

  • It starts the mandatory waiting period for divorce in Pennsylvania.
  • It allows you and your spouse to divide your shared property and assets so you can begin living without each other.
  • It lets you keep your separate property that was acquired after you separated.
  • It verifies that you and your spouse were not together when you began dating other people.

Having an official separation agreement on file with the court can help you avoid issues that arise when spouses date other people while they are apart. For example, if your spouse is angered by the idea of you dating, and you don’t have a separation agreement, they can attempt to use your relationship against you. They may try to convince the court that you began dating before you were separated, which could be hard for you to disprove.

Is Dating While Married Considered Adultery?

If you’re married to one person but dating another, it is not necessarily considered adultery. You are free to date during separation without having to worry that your social life will be used as grounds for divorce.

An adulterous relationship is one that begins before you have separated from your spouse. People commit adultery when they separate from their spouse after they began an affair and continue to see the other person after separation.

Adultery is grounds for divorce in Pennsylvania, and if your spouse can prove you committed adultery, they can seek a divorce with fault. The court will consider your marital misconduct when deciding on important points like property division and support.

Keep Your Relationship Offline

While it may be tempting to change your relationship status on Facebook, keeping your relationship off social media is a better option. If you’re involved in a particularly bitter separation, seeing pictures of you and your new partner online can only create worse feelings. Even if you and your spouse are on good terms, it may hurt them and your kids to see how quickly you’ve moved on. In all matters involving separation and divorce, you should take a break from social media. That way, you can avoid giving them any ammunition to use against you in court.

For Help With Separation, Call Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC

Separating from your spouse is often an emotional time, and you may be unsure about the process. Let our Pittsburgh separation lawyers at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC help you. We can answer your questions and help you create an agreement that will work for you and your spouse. Schedule a no-cost consultation with us by contacting (412) 471-5100 today.