Dating after you split up with your spouse may not be a good idea in Virginia. Unlike other states, the Commonwealth of Virginia does not recognize legal separations. You are either married or divorced.
How Dating Can Hurt Your Divorce Case
If you enter into a romantic relationship with someone after you stop living with your spouse, you are doing so while you are still married. Here is how this can be used against you in your divorce.
Virginia is an equitable division state, and marital property should be divided fairly in a divorce. However, the judge can consider fault in determining what is fair. Dating while separated is technically committing adultery. This could be used by your spouse to argue she is entitled to more of the marital assets.
Child Custody and Visitation
When deciding custody and visitation issues, the court must consider the best interests of the child, which involves considering many factors relating to a child’s welfare, needs, and care. If you are dating someone new, the judge may consider this as negatively affecting your fitness as a parent and the ability to take care of your children. You may not be granted primary physical custody, and your visitation with your children may be impacted as well.
Adultery is a crime in Virginia. While it is unlikely, you may be charged with a criminal offense if you are involved romantically with someone else during your divorce proceedings.
How to Protect Yourself in Your Divorce
While there is no law that prohibits dating, it may be in your best interests to not date until your divorce is finalized. If you are considering dating, you should contact an experienced family law lawyer for advice on your rights and how to avoid the potential negative consequences before doing so. Call our Norfolk office today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team to get the answers you need to your questions and to learn how we can help you move forward with filing for divorce.