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Should you date while going through divorce?

You've served the petition and everyone is aware that the marriage is ending. But it can be weeks or months before the divorce is finalized, especially if both people involved don't agree on all the details. So, is it safe to hit up a dating site or say yes to that blind date your well-meaning friend has been badgering you about?

While there are admittedly some pros to dating before the divorce is final -- especially if you can turn dating into a confidence booster -- there are probably more disadvantages. First of all, even if you've moved into separate homes, you're legally married until the divorce orders are signed. That means if you go beyond a friendly cup of java with a blind date -- that is, if you have sex -- then you could be accused of adultery. What started as a no-fault divorce could turn into a divorce based on adultery, and you could lose a lot of leverage.

You might think dating is okay because you've both agreed civilly that the marriage isn't working. But if one partner moves on before the other is completely ready, it can result in sudden bad feelings. That might turn your civil divorce proceeding into a battle over everything.

Finally, depending on what else is going on in your life, dating can shift important resources -- such as your emotions and focus -- away from critical matters such as divorce decisions, rebuilding your finances or your children. If you're impatient to get back out there, consider waiting until a divorce is finalized and taking steps to fast-track your divorce. Working with a mediator might be one way to approach divorce more quickly.

Source: Divorced Moms, "Dating Before Your Divorce is Final: The Pros And Cons," Karen Covy, accessed Aug. 26, 2016

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