Meeting someone who appreciates and respects you can be a nice change of pace for anyone going through a contentious divorce. Although the decision to begin dating may seem reasonable, it can impact your divorce proceedings.
Dating can complicate these aspects of your Texas divorce.
Although it is unnecessary to claim fault when pursuing a divorce in Texas, dating before receiving a final divorce decree could lead a judge to conclude that infidelity is the reason for the dissolution of your marriage. Under the Texas Family Code, adultery is a ground for divorce, which judges consider when dividing a couple’s property. Therefore, although Texas is an equitable distribution state, a judge may award your spouse a more significant share of marital assets.
Dating before your divorce finalizes could disqualify you from receiving spousal support from your ex-spouse if a judge believes your adulterous relationship is responsible for the demise of your marriage. If you are cohabitating with a new partner, a judge will also find that you have other support means and will not grant you alimony.
On the other hand, cohabitating will increase your resources if you are the higher-earning spouse, and a judge may raise your spousal support payments.
Child custody and visitation in Texas hinges upon parents’ ability to prioritize their children’s welfare. Adultery is not a consideration for judges who prefer to award joint custody. Still, a new partner who poses a physical or emotional danger to a child will compromise a parent’s custody and visitation rights.
When you and your spouse are ready to proceed with a divorce, entering mediation and agreeing to settle can eliminate long court battles that negatively impact you and your children.