What Not to Do: Dating While Divorcing

Technically speaking, being married is a binary thing: you either are or you aren't. While Texas recognizes common law marriage, there is no such thing as a common law divorce. And if you act as though you are divorced before you are, you are playing with fire. 

Here's what can happen:

  • Your "ex" (and by "ex", I mean your spouse... because you are, in fact, still married), names your new love interest(s) as parties to your divorce. Yes, that happens. Suddenly, your new honey is on trial for alienation of affection, and you are on trial for being an adulterer.
  • While Texas is a "no fault" divorce state, your many faults can be used as a factor in determining the "fair and just" division of assets. Your faults and indiscretions can be used against you in determining determining the best interests of your children. 
  • The fact that you have a new love interest will likely upset your "ex" (again, read: spouse). Your infidelity is leverage that can flavor the negotiations. 
  • Dating can be expensive. Dinners, flowers, gifts, and trips add up quickly. If you are paying for these using your income, you are expending community property. Don't think this won't upset your spouse or look good before a jury. 
  • Do you know who you are dating? Well, your spouse might be motivated to dig up dirt on them. If there is something questionable in their past (even if you weren't aware of it), you are potentially exposing your children to an unsavory character. Again, your children's other parent can use that against you. 

Of course, there are married people who date while they are in the middle of a divorce and don't experience any of the above situations. But when your kids, your finances, and your future are at stake, you need to consider the significant risks involved.