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What Should I Consider When Dating During a Divorce?

 Posted on September 27, 2023 in Divorce

Untitled---2023-09-27T140737.871.jpgDating during a divorce can be a complicated matter, both emotionally and legally. This can be especially true for divorcing couples with children. While there are no laws in Wisconsin that specifically prohibit dating during a divorce, there are a few things you should consider before starting a new relationship.

It is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before starting a new relationship. If you do decide to date, there are some things you can do to minimize the potential risks. It is also important to find a good lawyer to represent you during your divorce.

The Emotional Toll

You should be emotionally and psychologically ready to engage in a new relationship before doing so. The grief of a failed marriage and the impact it can have on your children should be a consideration. Young children may become confused or upset by your new relationship.

Starting a new romantic relationship before a divorce is finalized can increase the already overwhelming stress of the situation. People going through the divorce process may not be thinking clearly, which could lead them to making poor dating decisions. Dating can be a temporary relief from the immediate stress of a divorce, but it can also create resentment toward you by family members on both sides.

The Effect on Physical Placement

Physical placement in Wisconsin is essentially child custody. Courts are very careful when making decisions about where children should live after a divorce. The best interests of a child are always put first when determining parental responsibilities.

In Wisconsin, family court judges can appoint a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) to investigate the different living arrangements that are available to the children and to make recommendations to the court about where the children should live. The judges will look at any evidence that shows that a parent's home is unstable or dangerous. Any history of criminal activity or substance abuse can force the court to decide that it is not in a child's best interests to spend a lot of time in that parent's care.

The same factors include a new romantic partner. In terms of a child’s safety around a new partner, a judge may issue an order that your child is not allowed to interact with your new partner, which includes being present during visits with your child.

The Effect on Child Support

As with child placement, a judge will always put a child's best interests first. They consider many factors when calculating the amount of child support payments, such as:

  • Both parents’ finances

  • The age and needs of your child

  • The pre-divorce standard of living

  • Childcare and educational expenses

  • Other expenses tied to a child’s special requirements or medical care

During child support proceedings, a judge will also weigh whether there are any other financial contributors to your child's household and upbringing. Should you decide to begin living with your new romantic partner while going through the divorce, the judge may believe that their presence implies increased financial resources for you. 

The Effect on Spousal Maintenance

Courts take into consideration the financial support you receive from your new partner when deciding on the amount of maintenance you need to maintain your lifestyle. If a judge finds that a new romantic partner is contributing financially to your life and needs, they may decide that you no longer need maintenance, or they may adjust the amount you receive from your future ex-spouse.

Contact a Waukesha County, WI Divorce Attorney

The law office of Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP can help with all aspects of the divorce process. If you need an experienced Brookfield, WI divorce lawyer, contact us at 262-232-6699 for a free consultation.

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