The shortest time it takes to finalize divorce after filing in California is six months. However, sometimes it takes even longer. You might want to start dating again during this waiting period, but you need to know that might not be good for your case. The court could potentially view dating before a divorce as “adultery.” Therefore, it makes sense to avoid dating until your divorce is finalized.
You and your spouse remain married until a judge rules that your divorce is final, which makes starting a new relationship legally adulterous. Because of California’s no-fault system, your ex cannot use previous relationships as evidence to obtain higher alimony payments. However, your dating may lead them to accuse you of spending money that was earned during the marriage on your new relationship.
The court’s perception matters
If the court concludes that you’ve spent an excessive amount of money on a new partner, it may be considered a dissipation of marital assets. In such a case, you may have to reimburse the amount to the marital estate or have the amount you spent on relationships outside of your own reduced from your share of the division of marital property.
Dating before you’re divorced might also hurt you in court if the judge starts to doubt your sincerity. Your integrity may be called into question, especially if you try to hide your current relationship. Being labeled as untrustworthy could be viewed as detrimental to your efforts, and it may even impact your child custody agreement.
At the end of the day, because the divorce process can be complicated, you’ll want to consider seeking guidance to help you with any questions you have about the process.