Should you date before the divorce is final ?
What do I need to know about many such legal hazards.
Harlan Jacobsen Copyright 2003

Concerned that dating before your divorce is going to be final could be legally hazardous? Afraid it is going to see you get the short end from the court to punish you because you have been going out? No longer true supposedly, but maybe you should read this article written by a divorce judge.
"Dating during divorce isn't wise", click here
In the majority of divorces from my observation, one or the other and often both are dating before it becomes final. Length of time to finish the legal divorce varies greatly of course and each state is a little different with some taking up to two years and I know of some that have never been technically finalized.

This posses many a problem in not dating because there are divorces that the legal hassles go on for what seems like "years".

However, as the judge says, this "dating before final" raises emotional turmoil for the spouse "not dating" and can turn the legal divorce "thermonuclear" as they say.

The law may say one thing, and the judge can lean the other. Remember, Judges have "what they call wide discretion," (means they are God and law or no law, what ever they say goes)

Keep in mind that most divorces are based on an agreement you have worked out between you two, and/or if you are using attorneys, what your attorneys have worked out and got you both to agree to.

The judge then looks at the proposed settlement, and if it seems fair to them, they stamp it final.

North Carolina sounds a little tough, so you might want to read this page since some of this may apply in your state..

One word change can make a world of difference and whether you have an attorney or are doing it yourself, you need to know some of these things. If your attorney does not do things right they still get paid and you have to live with the consequences. You need to become knowledgeable and be responsible, not just entrust everything to an attorney.

When going through a divorce, and you are seeking to have what is "marital property" for a period of time, you need to ask for exclusive *possession* rather than the usual exclusive *occupancy*. The reason for that word change is if you have "possession" of the house for example, and at some point want to move and rent may. However if you obtained exclusive occupancy, then in order to keep it, you have to continue to live there.

Another example, is if the wife asks for $1.00 a year spousal support as opposed to none, then if she should come down with a debilitating illness say, shortly after divorce, she can go back in and ask for support. Without that there is no way to do so.

When you file for divorce the division of property will be determined by the laws in your state. We assume your state has a "no fault divorce system".

In a community property state it is simply divided 50-50. Ever consider trying to cut your new Mercedes in half?

If you are in an equitable distribution state, then property that is not in both names will be divided by number of years of the marriage, all sorts of formulas and what each has contributed etc.

You should be able to call the reference department at your public library as to which of the two your state is. Then if you find your state is not a community property state, ask them to find you information on exactly how property is divided in your state.

Half of the fear and sword hanging over your head is "not knowing" how this works and your spouse making all kinds of threats, that are often basic "nonsense",......

But never the less giving you great anxiety and/or getting you to agree to something you do not need to or should not do.

Another example would be you kick out the STBX (soon to be ex) and change the locks. You wont let them in to pick up their stuff. They come back while you are at work, break the door down and take everything. You can not have them arrested, and whether you have an attorney or not, it was just as much their house as your house, and what they took was just as much theirs as it was yours.

This is a worse case example but you do need to be informed, be practical and try to work these things out, but with first knowing all about how the legal divorce works.

Read up on the subject of the "legal" part of your divorce on the net and pick up books on the subject at your library, and become "informed". This will quiet a lot of the butterflies in your stomach.

With children involved you are often in and out of court for years. Be sure and tie child support somehow to inflation or his salary. When it goes up ten per cent, the child support automatically goes up ten per cent for example.

Otherwise, when the cost of living rises, you have to go back to court every time to get child support raised to keep up.

Remember, your attorney just wants to get this done, and does not have to live with the result, you do.

Related articles:  Legal Divorce, click here

Related articles:  Divorce, the Truth go here

Related articles:  93 Articles about divorce by Judge Anne Kass go here



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