If you’ve been in an unhappy marriage for a long time, it might be tempting to move on with someone new even before your divorce is final. After all, you probably feel like you’ve wasted enough time in your life already.
However, starting a new relationship right now can be a major mistake — for several reasons:
It can affect your rational judgment
The business of divorce is just that — business. While emotions may have led you to this path, you’ll fare best when you keep your emotions in check and let reason be your guide.
If you’re already involved with someone new, it can be a lot harder to keep your emotions from clouding your judgment. That can lead you to agree to things in your settlement that will negatively affect your future for years to come.
It can ruin your custody agreement
If you and your spouse are trying to work out a custody agreement that you can both live with, the last thing you want to do is introduce a new person to the equation. That can set off a rejected spouse’s feelings of anger and jealousy — which could lead him or her to fight you harder on every aspect of custody and visitation in revenge.
It could also provoke protective parenting instincts in your spouse — who could argue that your kids will be negatively affected by the new relationship. Plus, your new partner’s privacy will go out the window as the court seeks to determine if he or she is an acceptable influence on the kids.
It can make getting a fair property settlement harder
How do you think your spouse is going to feel about your new partner enjoying the fruits of your spouse’s labors over the course of your marriage? While that might not be exactly true, you can be sure that your spouse will see it that way. That can make negotiating an easy property settlement or spousal support much more difficult.
Keep this in mind: Until you’re actually divorced, getting involved romantically with someone new can leave you open to charges of adultery. While it’s not really fair, that can cast you in a negative light before the court and affect every aspect of your divorce. It’s far better to hold off for a few more months until the divorce is final.