The answer is yes.
My recommendation based on more than 30 years of practice is to not date as soon as you separate. I recommend against dating for several reasons. First, going through the divorce process is a time-consuming process and you need to devote all of your time, effort, and energy to the divorce process, your job, and your family. You simply do not have time to start dating. Secondly, dating is a game of chance — some dates are good and some are bad. If you happen to get a bad one while you’re separated and before you’re divorced don’t be surprised if you suffer some nasty consequences. Thirdly, in most states you are not divorced until the judge leans over the bench and says you are divorced and signs a decree of divorce.
In some states adultery is still grounds for divorce, and intercourse with someone other than your spouse before your divorce is final constitutes adultery. Finally, dating generally leads to sex and sex, while it’s the greatest thing that has ever been invented, frequently leads to babies — expecting a baby while your divorce is pending is an absolute disaster.
The judge will take into account all factors in setting spousal support (alimony) and dividing property. If you give the appearance to the judge of being an overly-eager person, a person that does not pay attention to details, a person that does not wrap up one chapter in life before moving forward with another chapter, etc. then you can expect the judge will hold this against you.
John K. Grubb practices family law in Houston. He has a BBA, MBA, and a JD Degree. John K. Grubb focuses a significant part of his family law practice on helping couples create premarital and prenuptial agreements in Texas.
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