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How Long Should You Wait After Legal Separation to Date Again?

DiPietro Law Group, PLLC

Relationship issues prompted you and your spouse to seek a limited divorce. Technically, you're still married, but you live separately, and you may even be required to pay child support or alimony. Does all of this mean you're free to date again? Not necessarily. Jumping into the dating market too soon could cause personal grief, or worse – costly legal problems.

At DiPietro Law Group, PLLC, our Maryland legal separation lawyers can help you navigate the often difficult terrain of life after limited divorce. Our firm is dedicated to helping you preserve family relationships and make the most of family transitions. In this post, we’ll touch on 3 of the reasons you may want to delay dating after your legal separation.

3 Reasons to Delay Dating After Legal Separation

Reason #1: Your spouse can pursue grounds of adultery.

Maryland maintains several grounds for fault-based divorce — including adultery. Because limited divorce does not end the marriage, you could be deemed guilty of adultery if you pursue a sexual relationship with someone new before finalizing your split.

In Maryland, it's possible to file for limited divorce without grounds, and later, file for absolute divorce on grounds of adultery. Your spouse may not mind your forays into the dating world, but there’s always the risk that they will later use this against you, as emotions can run high during any divorce proceeding.

If an affair prompted your separation, you're at even greater risk of a grounds-based divorce. All things considered, it’s best to avoid your partner in the affair until after you've finalized your divorce and resolved all legal matters properly.

Reason #2: You may want to seek reconciliation with your spouse later.

If any potential exists for reviving your marriage, you should probably avoid dating for the time being. As a legally married couple, you're not on a 'break' and you can't use your separation as an excuse for an affair. Dating might seem like a fun distraction from your current relationship struggles, but it'll only make matters worse if you later attempt a reconciliation with your partner.

Reason #3: You may not be personally or emotionally ready for the challenges of dating.

Regardless of the legal logistics, dating can be challenging, and require a high degree of emotional stability and self-acceptance. If you’re still harboring negative feelings about your separation, it may be difficult for you to find the right partner. You don't need to forgive your ex right away, but you should be at peace enough to avoid ruminating about the other person's transgressions. If you secretly suspect that 'all men' or ''all women' are just like your ex, you're not ready to date.

Navigating the Challenges of Limited Divorce

When in doubt, it’s best to wait before you jump back into the dating market. From legal risks to personal issues, challenges will abound, and during this time you're likely better off preparing for divorce and engaging in reflection about your relationship. It may be difficult, but you’ll have greater clarity and peace of mind when you do decide to date again later on.

Are you dealing with issues related to your limited divorce or legal separation? Our Maryland legal separation attorneys at DiPietro Family Law Group can help you sort through the implications of beginning a new relationship before your divorce is finalized.

Contact us today at (888) 530-4374 for a free consultation!

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