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Dating during the divorce process: Is it a good idea?

In a recent survey of 2,000 newly divorced people in Georgia and throughout the country, about 50 percent of men and 20 percent of women stated that they were hoping to get married again someday. However, national statistics indicate that the divorce rate for second marriages is much higher than for first. Although researchers and family law attorneys are not sure of the reason for the elevated divorce rate in second marriages, it is possible that dating too soon during or after a divorce may play a part.

Of course, dating after divorce is certainly possible, and may actually help you move on and start over. But should you date before your divorce is final?

The short answer to this question is: it depends. First, you should honestly evaluate how your divorce is going. Is it contested, or is it relatively peaceful? Is it prohibitively expensive? Is it nearing finality, or is it going to drag on for several months? The point of these questions is to determine whether you are emotionally, psychologically and financially ready to start a new relationship. If your divorce is still difficult and stressful, you may want to wait until you have the emotional resources to put toward a new partner.

At the same time, it is important that you are still able to devote an appropriate amount of time and energy to your divorce case, in order to ensure that you come out of it with the best possible resolution.

Finally, be aware of the potential impact of a new relationship on your children and any pending child custody determinations. Will your spouse become angry if he or she learns that you are dating someone new? Will your children become confused and resentful if there is another person taking on new parenting roles so soon after the split?

Certainly, dating during divorce is not impossible, as long as you are sure that you and your family are ready.

Source: Huffington Post, "Dating During Divorce? Not So Fast," Bari Zell Weinberger, Mar. 16, 2012

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