Yes, You Can Date While Separated in San Diego, CA, but Here’s the Catch

There is no law in California that says you cannot date while seeking a dissolution of marriage. Therefore, you can date while separated in San Diego. However, dating during separation could jeopardize the outcome of your divorce settlement.

Is Dating While Separated Illegal in California?

California is a no-fault state for divorces. The law does not require proof that a spouse engaged in wrongdoing to dissolve a marriage.

The grounds for divorce in San Diego, CA, are irreconcilable differences. A spouse claims that the marriage is irretrievably broken, and the court dissolves the marriage, even if the other spouse does not want a divorce.

It is not illegal to begin dating when you separate. Even though you are legally married, you will not be thrown in jail if you start dating before you are divorced. However, just because you can do something does not make it a good idea to proceed.

Four Reasons Why It May Not Be in Your Best Interests to Date While Separated in California

If you and your spouse enter a marital settlement agreement and acknowledge that the marriage is irretrievably broken and you intend to seek a divorce, dating while being separated may not impact the outcome of your divorce settlement. However, if you file for divorce in San Diego and your spouse is likely to contest the divorce terms, dating during your separation could have consequences.

Four things to keep in mind when considering dating while separated in San Diego include:

Alimony and Property Division

California is a community property state. Both spouses own a 50% share in marital assets. Most assets acquired between the date of marriage and the date of separation are included in the marital estate. Therefore, the court should award a 50-50 split of marital assets.

However, if you spend marital funds or assets on your dates or a significant other, your spouse may argue that you should reimburse the marital estate for those funds. Even if you spend your separate funds on your dates while separated, your spouse may use this as an argument that you can afford spousal support payments.

Therefore, dating while separated could impact the financial elements of your divorce.

Increased Hostilities

California is a no-fault divorce state. You don’t need to prove fault and you can dissolve the marriage over your spouse’s objections. However, you must resolve several matters during the divorce process, including alimony, child custody, child support, and property division.

If your dating during separation angers your spouse, mediating a divorce settlement could make it more challenging. Therefore, you could face a lengthy and costly litigated divorce instead of settling out of court.

Child Custody and Parenting Plans

If you cannot agree on child custody and visitation matters, the judge decides those issues based on the child’s best interests. Judges consider numerous factors when deciding what is in the best interests of the child.

Your ex-spouse could allege that dating while separated is not illegal, but it is an example of your unfitness to have custody. The argument could be convincing if you date numerous people and expose your children to your dates.

It could also hurt your chance of receiving joint custody and liberal visitation if your ex-spouse’s attorney hires an investigator to do a deep dive into your new partner’s background. If they find any negative information, they may allege that the children are at risk of harm if they are around your new partner.

Poor Judgment and Decisions

A factor the court considers when deciding child custody is whether a parent has the sound judgment to make decisions for their children. Even though you might be in love with another person, dating while separated could result in poor judgment and decisions.

People in the first stages of a new relationship are often too excited to focus on anything other than the new relationship. They might not focus on their divorce and the decisions that are in their best interests.

What Should I Do if I Want to Date During Separation in San Diego, CA?

Talk to a San Diego divorce lawyer if you want to date while separated. An attorney can help you develop a plan that protects your parental rights and best interests while allowing you the freedom to date while separated.

A divorce lawyer can also explain why you need to wait to date if your divorce is contentious or your spouse is seeking sole custody of your child. Sound legal advice is the best way to protect yourself during a divorce in San Diego, California.

Contact Our Divorce Law Firm in San Diego, CA

Contact our experienced San Diego divorce lawyers at San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC today for legal assistance. Contact our San Diego office at (619) 866-3756 to schedule a free consultation.

San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC
2851 Camino del Rio S #430
San Diego, CA 92108