May I date during the divorce process? Also, what about the money I chose to spend on dating and/or a lover?

In modern times, it seems that the courts in Michigan are less concerned with your private life than they once were. There are, however, some warnings you must heed in the area of dating and sexual relations during your divorce. First, by openly dating, you are risking the infliction of emotional pain on your spouse and this may significantly impede the chances of settling your case.

If you have children, there are additional concerns. Most family counselors and/or therapists will advise that exposing your minor children to a “significant other” during the divorce will add needless confusion and anxiety to their already mounting concerns. Some judges, referees or Friend of the Court counselors will recommend that your new significant other not be present during overnight parenting time during the divorce. It is always best to complete your divorce and allow your children to adjust prior to openly dating.

Adultery is of greater concern. First, it remains a crime in Michigan (a felony), although prosecutors have long-refrained from prosecuting sex-related cases between consenting adults. However, an adulterous affair may have an impact on custody of your minor children, spousal support and the property settlement of your case. The moral fitness of the parties is one among many factors the court will take into account when determining custody and support. Again, while the courts in general are less concerned about your private life in modern times, if your adulterous sexual relations affects your minor children in any way, it may become an issue in your divorce. It is best to wait until your divorce is completed before resuming sexual relations.

Also, any money you spend on dating or on your lover may be deducted against you in the property settlement of your divorce decree.