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Dating During the Pendency of Your Florida Divorce

We are frequently asked if it is okay to date someone while a divorce is pending.

Florida is a no-fault state and even if you date during the marriage it does not affect the legal outcome of your divorce with one notable exception. If you spend marital money on a date, the court may give your spouse the same sum of money before the court divides the rest of your property during the property distribution.

Equally important as the legal rules of your divorce are the strategy considerations. I'll explain. Although there is nothing legally wrong with you dating someone while you are going through the divorce process, you may not wish to do so. Expert psychologists have verified that, in a divorce, your spouse wants you to feel just as miserable as your spouse feels. If your spouse sees that you are happy in a new relationship, it may be very difficult to negotiate with that spouse to reasonably settle your case. Your spouse may have the tendency to try to drag the case out. When that happens, you spend substantially more in attorneys fees and costs getting to the conclusion of your divorce and on with your life.

Bottom Line: From my experience as a divorce attorney, it is legally okay to date during your divorce, but don't do it.

(copyright Stann Givens 2009)

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A spouse who does not make timely support payments can have his or her wages garnished through the Florida Child Support Enforcement Department. The court orders that alimony be automatically taken from the paying spouse's paycheck. The court can also order that the paying spouse give the alimony payments to the Support Enforcement Department, which will give the money to the receiving spouse. The department acts as a third party which manages the collection and distribution of support payments on a statewide basis. If the paying spouse of child support or alimony fails to make timely and sufficient payments, the court can suspend the paying spouse's driver's license.
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