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Should You Date While Your Divorce is Pending in Illinois

Should You Date While Your Divorce is Pending in Illinois

Date: December 21, 2016

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If you’ve already filed for divorce, you’ve probably come to terms with the fact that your marriage is over. But divorces can take time, and if it takes several months for your dissolution to be finalized by the court, you may want to start dating someone else (or perhaps this was the reason you sought a divorce in the first place).

Many people wonder if dating during a divorce could hurt their case. Legally, there’s nothing wrong with it, however it could potentially cost you the ability to be the primary custodian and is not encouraged. A court will not order you to pay more spousal support or rule that you can’t get child custody because you have a new girlfriend or boyfriend, although in some cases it can affect whether you receive any spousal support, and of course there are concerns about how your spouse and children might react.

Spouses and Dating During a Pending Divorce

Depending on how what sort of terms you and your spouse are on, bringing another person into the mix while the divorce is pending could negatively impact them. Even if the proceedings are going relatively smoothly, seeing you with someone else may cause your spouse to try to start fighting you on issues like property division and child custody.

In addition, if you have children, your children may react differently toward you. A court has no legal basis for holding it against you that you’re dating someone else, but if you have older children who express less of an urge to spend time with you for any reason, this could affect how a court rules when it comes to child custody.

The Cohabitation Issue

If you are in a situation where you will be receiving alimony, it’s important to remember that under Illinois law, alimony does not just terminate when you remarry. A former spouse’s obligation to pay spousal support ends when his or her ex cohabitates with another person on a “resident, continuing, conjugal basis.”

Exactly what cohabitation means is up for interpretation, but a court takes several factors into consideration, such as where you sleep most nights, where you keep clothing and whether you and your new partner have commingled your assets and travel together. If your spouse makes a good case while the divorce is pending that your dating is actually a cohabitation with a new partner, it could result in a court ruling that you are not entitled to any spousal support.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Divorce Attorney Today

Divorce is a legal matter, but there are still a lot of social and emotional issues to keep in mind when going through the process as well. While you’re free to date while your divorce is pending, you need to understand how it may affect your case and your soon-to-be ex spouse. For more information about the divorce process, contact SAM LAW OFFICE LLC in Rolling Meadows for a free consultation.

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