Legal or not legal, it’s a really bad idea. First, an engagement is a promise to marry. Legally, you can’t marry someone when you are still married to someone else, so promising to do so is not at all-wise. While very few people today actually sue their fiancé if their engagement falls through, technically, they could potentially do so. So, legally, it’s a bad idea.
Emotionally, it’s a horrible idea! Getting divorced is difficult enough when only two people are involved. Adding in a third person (i.e., your fiancé) only makes the process harder — particularly if you have children. It will make your present spouse angrier, confuse or tear apart your children more, and may even complicate your legal case.
Regardless of how much in love you maybe with someone else, wait until after you’re divorced to get engaged.
Karen A. Covy, J.D. is a divorce attorney and family law mediator in Chicago Illinois. She is the author of When Happily Ever After Ends, How to Survive Your Divorce Emotionally, Financially and Legally.