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Is it Okay to Date While Going Through Divorce?

Many people are eager to start dating again once they have decided to end their marriage. However, adultery can have certain negative consequences in Texas. At The Law Office of David J. Rodriguez, we work with our clients to get them a divorce that allows them to hit the ground running. Unfortunately, dating before your divorce is finalized could negatively impact property division, alimony, and possibly even child custody. Our San Antonio divorce lawyer explains more in this post.

Property Division in a Texas Divorce

Texas is a community property state, so any property you acquired while married is considered property of the community, which is divided upon divorce. Community property typically includes real estate, motor vehicles, mobile homes, retirement accounts, and stocks and bonds. Anything tangible, or anything with a value, is probably covered.

Texas Family Code § 7.001 calls for a “just and right” division of property on divorce. For some couples, that might mean a 50/50 split.

Unfortunately, adultery can impact the division of community property. A judge might find that your infidelity contributed to the breakdown of your marriage. If so, the judge might give you less community property than you otherwise would receive.

Another consideration is whether you spent community assets on your new romantic interest. For example, you might have dipped into savings to pay for an all-expenses-paid trip to Vegas with your new squeeze. A judge might take a negative view of that.

Some clients want to argue that they didn’t start dating until they realized the marriage was over. Maybe you even waited until you filed divorce papers. The risk is that a judge won’t find that argument convincing. So long as you are married, your sexual infidelity can negatively impact your ability to leave with as much community assets as possible.


Infidelity can impact alimony. Texas has strict requirements for obtaining alimony. Essentially, a spouse must be unable to pay for necessities. They also need to establish an additional element, such as a physical or mental disability that prevents them from earning sufficient resources.

Once a judge finds alimony is warranted, the court considers many factors to arrive at the amount and duration. Under Section 8.052 of the Family Code, a judge might consider adultery in a couple of situations.

First, any expenditure of assets on a new romantic interest could qualify as “abnormal” expenditures. Second, the law allows a judge to consider “marital misconduct,” which includes adultery.

If you commit infidelity, then a judge might award your spouse more spousal maintenance.

Child Custody

Adultery will probably have less of an impact when it comes to child custody. Certainly, a judge won’t punish a parent for infidelity by denying them custody. Instead, a judge uses a “best interests of the child” test that looks at various factors.

However, infidelity could come into play with at least a few factors. For example, a judge should consider each parent’s prior relationship with the children. If you prioritize your new dating relationships over time with your kids, then a judge could look negatively at that.

Further, a judge will consider a child’s preference for who to live with if the child is at least 12 (depending on the child’s maturity). If your child dislikes your new romantic partner, then they could tell a judge they want to live with the other parent.

Further, a judge will consider whether your new romantic interest poses risk to the safety of your children, especially where your new boyfriend/girlfriend has moved in with you. Imagine if they have a criminal record. A judge might consider them to be a real risk to your children, thus not making you the custodial parent. The same is true if your new romantic interest has a drug or alcohol problem.

Why You Should Wait

Although eager to get back out on the dating market, men and women should probably wait until their divorce is completed. It’s possible to divorce in as little as six months if your case is uncontested.

Remember to tell your lawyer if your spouse has cheated on you. As explained above, it could play a significant role in your case. You might get more alimony and community property.

Call Our Divorce Lawyer Today

Our goal is to obtain a divorce for our clients which allows them to move successfully into the future. Reach out to our office to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team. We will provide other tips for making your divorce go smoothly.