Can My Spouse Date During Our California Divorce?

Did you recently learn that your spouse has begun dating even though you’re still legally married and the divorce is not final yet? If so, you may have a lot of questions right about now. “Can my spouse do that? Is it considered cheating? Can their dating impact child custody or property division?” are the types of questions we hear from clients, and understandably so!

For starters, California is a no-fault divorce state. This means California spouses can file for divorce without pointing the blame at their spouse. No longer does a spouse need to cite a ground for divorce, such as abandonment, adultery, mental illness, or cruel and inhuman treatment. All that matters is that one spouse wants out of the marriage.

Generally, California judges are not concerned about a spouse dating during their divorce. The only time it becomes an issue is when the spouse who is dating is wasting marital assets on their new boyfriend or girlfriend, or the dating is impacting their parenting. Other than that, it’s usually a non-issue mainly because the courts have more important things to focus on.

How Do You Conduct Yourself?

You may not be able to control your spouse’s dating during your divorce, but you can control how you react to the news. That being said, here’s our advice to you:

  • Talk to your spouse about their dating and how you’ll both handle it.
  • Consider dating yourself – it may help distract you.
  • Keep your emotions out of it. If your spouse’s dating upsets you, don’t let their behavior cloud your divorce-related actions and decisions.
  • Ask your spouse to keep the dating discreet and off social media.
  • Ask your spouse to only date on their nights without the kids.
  • Ask your spouse to avoid introducing dates to your children until: 1) the divorce is final, and 2) they are in a committed relationship.
  • If you’re having a hard time with their dating, consider seeing a therapist or counselor.
  • Avoid talking about your spouse’s dating on social media.
  • If you suspect your spouse is wasting or hiding marital assets on their dating, contact your attorney right away as this may impact property distribution.

Need a divorce attorney? Contact Claery & Hammond, LLP to get started.

Next: The Cheating Spouse’s Digital Trail