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Can I Date During a California Divorce?

If you’re going through divorce proceedings and you’re thinking a little or a lot about taking a dip in the dating pool, you’re not alone. If you’re wondering what it would be like to start dating, please know there’s no reason to feel ashamed about your curiosity.

Dating during divorce may seem immoral, but it’s becoming more socially acceptable, especially in progressive states like California, New York, and Nevada.

After all, it’s okay to begin dating after breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, why can’t you date after breaking up with your spouse? At least, that’s how a lot of people feel about dating during divorce.

Can dating during divorce negatively affect my divorce settlement?

In the United States, we have mixed states that allow for fault and no-fault divorces and no-fault states. California is a no-fault divorce state, which means couples file for divorce without pointing blame on each other; all that matters is that one spouse wants out of the marriage.

As a no-fault divorce state, judges are not concerned about cheating during marriage and they’re not concerned with spouses dating during divorce either.

This saves judges a lot of time. However, that doesn’t mean spouses should throw caution to the wind and date carelessly. Dating during divorce, when handled incorrectly, can have a negative impact on the outcome or the divorce settlement.


Here's our top tips for pursuing a new relationship during your divorce:

  • Consider discussing it with your spouse and getting their agreement that you can both see other people.

  • Date discreetly. Don’t go around talking about it to mutual friends and acquaintances, and don’t post your dates on social media.

  • Try to avoid taking your date to places where you may run into your spouse.

  • Be honest with your dates; tell them that you’re in the middle of a divorce.

  • If you have kids with your ex, go on dates on your ex’s nights with the kids.

  • Avoid spending a lot of money on romantic partners. It’s best not to buy them expensive gifts, give them large amounts of money, or take them on expensive vacations because it could be considered wasteful dissipation of marital property and can impact property division. If you want to do something nice for a new love interest, talk to your divorce attorney first and make sure you’re using “separate assets.”

  • If you strongly believe that your ex will become enraged if they find out you’re dating, the discovery of you pursuing new relationships can turn a collaborative divorce case into a heavily litigated divorce, which can be costly. Discuss this with your attorney and the possibility of holding off on dating until the divorce is final.

A divorcing couple having a mediation meeting with their attorneys

Consult an experienced family law attorney

If you are certain you want to enter the dating scene before your divorce proceedings are finalized, our advice is to bring it up to your divorce lawyers and to seek their advice on how to date discreetly while your divorce is pending in the courts.

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