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A marriage ending is never easy. Even when two people decide together that their relationship has run its course have the dissolution process to go through. Whether mutual or contentious, it is a bad idea to get back out there as single and ready to mingle. In fact, beginning a relationship before the divorce is final carries downsides and consequences.
Courts take several factors into consideration in making their decisions on your divorce. A new relationship may impact the dissolution, especially in custody matters.

Rules of California Divorce

California state law goes by a no-fault rule for divorce. This rule entails that there does not need to be anything beyond irreconcilable differences. This also removes the responsibility for considering which party is at fault for the divorce. In an at-fault divorce, the decision impacts the division of assets and property.
There are several factors that the court can look at, however, that can impact custody, the division of the assets, and alimony. One of them is a current relationship. Whether it is new or pre-existing, getting back into the world of dating can damage your case.

Potential Fallout of Dating Before the Divorce is Final

  • Some of the more obvious and important include the relationship you have with your children, the relationship with your ex-spouse, and the perception of your character.
  • Your children are already going through a tough time, regardless of their age. In fact, starting a new relationship too soon can alienate them and align sympathies with your spouse. With older children, this is especially important because they may have a say in which parent they reside with.
  • Regardless of whether the divorce started amicably or not, beginning a new relationship during your divorce can be a problem. It could cause talk in their social circle and create discomfort. Steer clear of dating so that child custody and parental issues do not turn into long battles.
  • It can have a negative impact on the way people perceive your moral character. Judges and child advocates are called to give testimony on parenting decisions should have a very high opinion of you. Basically, it looks like you do not care about your child’s emotional state during an already emotional time.
    If there was a debate over custody before, your dating someone new could change the balance in favor of your ex.
  • Dating someone new won’t win any points in the spousal support department either. While it will not impact the formula that decides child support, it could genuinely sway the court in favor of granting spousal support.
    If you are already bound to pay spousal support, this may send a message to the courts that you can pay more. If you can afford to date, you can afford increased spousal support.

    Bottom line

    Taking a pre-existing relationship to the next level or beginning to date again often impacts a divorce proceeding. California may not address fault, but it considers parental conduct, child preferences, and other factors when determining child custody, alimony, and visitation. If you make everyone mad, your custody arrangement has a significantly lower probability of being a positive for you.
    Wait to start dating until after the dissolution is final and you are in the clear. As for a pre-existing relationship, resist taking it any further until the proceedings are final.

Farbod Majd Esq.
Divorce Attorney w/ offices in Beverly Hills/Los Angeles
Services in English, Turkish, and Farsi/Persian (Iranian/American Lawyer)

8383 Wilshire Blvd Suite 646, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

310.956.4600 | Fax: 310.878.8989 | Fmajd@FmajdLaw.com

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