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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)
When the Florida court decides on the issue of child custody and visitation, the gender of the parents is not considered. For example, a mother will not automatically receive custody of the children just because she is the mother. The judge must only consider what is in the best interests of the child. Florida divorce law requires Shared Parental Responsibility. This means that even though the child may live with one parent, the other parent has equal say in raising the child. Each party must be consulted on the education, health, religion, and discipline of the child. And, if the parties cannot agree on these important issues, the judge will make the decisions.
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