Once you are legally separated in Iowa, you may be ready to move on with your life. It’s normal to wonder how soon you can start dating once you’ve planned and filed the initial first step towards a divorce. There are no hard and fast rules about dating during your separation, but while some professionals say you should spend the time contemplating the fate of your current relationship, others argue that asking a person to put their life on hold for a divorce that could take quite some time. While many divorces fall into a manageable time frame, some can drag out for a long time. With regards to whether you will be viewed harshly by the court if you are dating, the general answer is no. You shouldn’t worry about how it would impact your divorce unless you are doing something that could speak to your character or involves problematic behavior. Because Iowa has the additional step of legal separation, relationships that occurred before the separation and those that started during the separation period can be easily documented. Generally, if you begin dating during your divorce, the problems encountered would likely come from your estranged spouse. Depending on the state of your divorce, who filed and asked for the termination, dating during separation can lead to injured feelings. Now, this situation can impact your divorce as it could make your ex less agreeable and more contentious.
Dating and Emotions During the Divorce Process
A divorce is the end of an important relationship, and it’s likely that you or your spouse are emotional about the process. Even if you and your spouse agree about ending your marriage, your relationship may still be fractured. Even if your divorce is generally amicable, one spouse moving on by dating or finding a new mate could lead to feelings of jealousy and anger. Watching a spouse move on can impact the decision-making habits of your estranged spouse, which could, in turn, prolong divorce proceedings due to a lack of collaboration. Hurting your spouse’s feelings can lead to passive-aggressive arguments about the finer details of your divorce because they won’t want to admit they are hurt or angry about you moving on too soon. While it may be inevitable that you both will move on, it can be difficult to watch your former partner moving on with someone new before you are done with the divorce process. The longer your divorce stretches on, the more unaffordable it becomes, so you want your divorce to proceed in a timely manner.
Dating During Divorce and Parental Responsibilities
If there were any reason to hold off dating until after your divorce is finalized, it would be if you have minor children. Older children who are set to leave the nest may understand that their parents are divorcing and moving on to new relationships but explaining that to younger children can be challenging. Additionally, while you’re preparing to divorce, the court will want to know everything there is to know about how your children are handling the divorce. They will want to know if you or your spouse are making decisions that are in the best interest of your children. Are you creating a safe and nurturing environment for them? If a new relationship gives your estranged spouse any reason to share concerns about the safety of your children or exposure to harm, you could run afoul of the family court system. If you are determined to date and you have children, you want to ensure you are making good choices that keep their health, safety, and happiness in mind. Call us today at (515) 200-7571 to schedule your initial consultation or for information.