Although it may seem unfair, you should not date while going through a divorce in Texas. There are legal and personal reasons why you should wait until the divorce is final before dating.
Do Not Turn Your No-Fault Divorce Into one with Fault Allegations
Texas law allows a no-fault divorce. This means couples may get divorced without alleging that one of them was at fault for the divorce. The law also allows one party to allege the other one’s actions caused the break-up of the marriage. The most common fault allegation is that one party committed adultery.
If your spouse alleges adultery, the family court does not consider that you only began dating after the separation. According to the law, you are married until the day the judge issues the final order of dissolution.
If your spouse decides to allege your adultery contributed to the break-up of the marriage, it can affect the way the property is divided and the payment of spousal support.
It is often difficult for one spouse to prove adultery on the part of the other. But if you are publicly dating during the separation, this can be used as evidence. How much weight the judge gives this evidence depends on each judge.
The court has the authority to punish you, the adulterer, by awarding a greater share of the community property to your “wronged” spouse and even award spousal support when the court otherwise would not have done so. The court will also check to see if you spent community funds on gifts for the person you are dating.
Dating While Separated is Poor Judgment
If your spouse did not want the divorce, dating before the divorce is final may look like you are just trying to cause him or her emotional pain. Plus, it affects the children. Divorce is difficult enough for them and this is not the time for them to observe one parent with someone other than their other parent.
There is no Such Thing as Dating “Discreetly”
Do not kid yourself and think you can date and no one will find out. You may be smart enough not to post anything on social media, but your friends might not be so discreet.
You may think you can post on social media, and no one will know because of your privacy settings. Remember. Everything is discoverable.
For more information about the divorce process in general, and not dating while separated, contact our divorce attorneys at Springer & Lyle to schedule a consultation.