Will Dating during a Separation Affect a Divorce Settlement?
Because Georgia is not a no-fault state when it comes to divorce, beginning to date other people – or another person – while you are still married, is considered adultery (a fault basis), and it can affect the outcome of your divorce. This is true even if you are separated at the time. If you are heading toward a divorce, you need the professional legal counsel of an experienced Georgia divorce attorney on your side.
Dating during Your Separation
The court is unlikely to take dating during your separation into consideration regarding the division of your marital property (since – according to this timeline – it didn’t cause your divorce). The fact of you dating, however, can affect how the judge in your case rules on all the following terms (if your divorce is contested):
- Child custody
It’s important to note that the fact of dating during your separation has the capacity to make emotions run that much higher. This makes it that much likelier that your divorce will be contested and that you will need to turn to the court to make important decisions on your behalf. In turn (in a kind of vicious circle), it becomes that much more likely that the fact of your dating will affect the outcome of your divorce.
Child Custody and Visitation
When the court makes decisions regarding child custody and visitation, it is always motivated by the best interests of the children involved. As such, if the court finds that the fact of you having a new person in your life isn’t conducive to your children’s comfort and best-possible path forward, it can affect the terms of your visitation schedule or your child custody terms altogether. If, for example, your goal is to become the primarily custodial parent, your dating situation could thwart this goal. Further, Georgia allows children who are at least 14 to weigh in on which parent they choose to live with, and if you have someone new in your life, it could sway their decisions.
Dating during your separation could affect your ability to receive alimony as a term of your divorce (even if you would otherwise be eligible) if your spouse can demonstrate that your affair began prior to your divorce filing. If your new relationship contributed to the downfall of your marriage, it can have a direct effect on whether or not you receive alimony.
You Need an Experienced Georgia Divorce Attorney in Your Corner
In a contested divorce, dating during the separation period can play a significant part in how your divorce terms are determined. The trusted divorce attorneys at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland – proudly serving both Forsyth County and Cumming – understand the serious nature of the legal situation you face and are committed to skillfully advocating for your case’s optimal outcome. We’re on your side, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 770-887-1209 for more information about how we can help you today.