Can You Date While Legally Separated In Franklin?
Tennessee is one of several states that still recognizes legal separation as an alternative to divorce. When a couple gets legally separated, they must resolve all the same terms as in a divorce, such as property division and alimony. The couple also lives separate and apart, which leads some to wonder if they can date while they are legally separated. Although technically you can, it is generally not recommended. Below, our Franklin legal separation attorney outlines why it is a bad idea.
Adultery is Grounds for Divorce
If you date and are intimate with your new partner, it is considered adultery because you are still legally married to your spouse. Adultery is considered grounds for divorce in Franklin and it could give your spouse enough reason to start the process of dissolving the marriage. It also does not matter if your spouse entered into a sexual relationship with someone else first.
Dating Can Make Things Contentious
When a couple breaks up and one enters into a new relationship, the other person almost always feels hurt. This is hard at any time but if you and your spouse end up getting a divorce, it can make the process even more difficult. If your spouse is hurt by a new relationship, it might give them reason to draw out the divorce process and become more combative, making it harder to resolve the different issues involved.
It is Hard on the Kids
Seeing the family unit break apart is always extremely hard for children. Bringing another person into it, particularly in a romantic sense, will only make it more confusing for them. It is a misconception that younger children will not notice the new relationship, or that teenagers will handle it better because they are older. All children will notice and it will only make the situation more difficult. They may even start to ask questions such as if your new partner will be their parent one day. Questions such as these are impossible to answer, particularly while you are still married.
Your Funds are Still Marital Funds
Relationships cost money, whether it is to go out to eat or to rent a movie together at home. Due to the fact that you are still legally married, some of the funds you spend on the new relationship could be considered marital funds. The courts do not look kindly on spouses who spend marital funds on extramarital relationships and so, you could be penalized for this. A judge may order you to pay alimony in the event of divorce.
Our Legal Separation Attorney in Franklin Will Protect Your Rights
Whether you are getting a divorce or a legal separation, it is important to protect your rights. At Beal, Nations & Crutcher, our Franklin legal separation attorney will provide the legal advice you need to make informed decisions going forward. Call us now at 615-861-2304 or reach out to us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.