By: Brusca Law
When asked by others what your relationship status is during a divorce, you might respond with "shaky", "complicated", or even "non-existent". During a divorce, your relationships can vary and you may be focused on establishing a bond with someone other than your current Husband or Wife. You should know that your decision to "move on" may impact the current divorce proceedings, and you must be cautious for a variety of reasons.
Alimony and Child Support. Although Florida is a no-fault state, you may want to carefully consider pursuing a relationship before your divorce is finalized. All counties in the state of Florida are different, and some Judges have more traditional views than others. It is important to understand that if your new boyfriend or girlfriend helps you financially, that money (or even gifts) they give you may impact your alimony award or even the amount of child support you receive. Speak with an attorney to learn more about the impact on your particular case.
Domestic Violence. It is common during divorces for the new boyfriend or girlfriend to be involved in pick ups and drop offs for the children, and have face to face interactions with your spouse. These interactions may escalate, police may be called, and you might be facing a domestic violence injunction filed by either your boyfriend/girlfriend or your spouse. Prepare for this in advance, and speak with your new partner and remind them of the importance of remaining calm during exchanges with the children or interactions with your spouse.
Parental Responsibility Issues. The common saying in family law is that “You are not just dating Jane/Joe, you are dating Jane/Joe and her/his 3 children.” Dating for divorcing couples is difficult, and can be very stressful for everyone involved. The children may have a hard time understanding your new relationship, and may be worried about losing the relationship they have with the other parent. Some parents will use the children to try and find out about your new relationship, and put the children in an impossible situation of being an informant and possibly even more. Remember, children are supposed to be protected from litigation issues, and they should be able to be a kid focused on their own issues- not the issues of you, your new partner, or your spouse.
New Family Dynamic. The children and your new boyfriend or girlfriend (commonly referred to as “paramour” by the Court) will need some time to adjust to each other once they are introduced. The time to introduce your children to your significant other varies, but most would recommend you wait until you know for sure the person you are dating will be a good fit for you and your family. Jealousy will appear not only in your soon to be ex-partner, but it will also be an issue with your children, as your time with them will be impacted as you try to move on. Make sure you take the time necessary to make not only your spouse, but your children, feel comfortable with the latest addition to your family unit.
If you are involved in a divorce, paternity, or other child custody action, you need to be represented by an experienced Orlando Family Law Attorney who can best serve your interests and who understands the dynamics of dating during a divorce. Brusca Law has experience with child-related issues and can help you make the best decisions for your family. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, please call us at 407-501-6564.