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Beginning a new relationship before your divorce is finalized has emotional, strategic and legal consequences. My suggested answer – my advice to you – would be: don't do it!
While I believe you should deeply consider the emotional aspect of entering into a new relationship before you are legally divorced -- the emotional effect on you, your children, other family members, and even your spouse -- I won't address that in this forum. Realistically, many people are in relationships at the time of the final divorce decree.
Now, I don't mean to scare you, but let's think worse-case scenario here.
In North Carolina, sexual relations with someone other than your spouse is a crime, and adultery is technically a misdemeanor.
If infidelity/adultery — an intimate relationship with someone other than your spouse prior to separating — is an issue, then continuing a relationship with that same person after the separation can be used as evidence to prove adultery. Proof of adultery may affect alimony and child custody.
And, while it may seem strange or uncomfortable to ask this question, it is certainly a question you should be asking because what you do during the period of separation can have serious, irreversible consequences.
Scenario Three If you are engaged in a hotly contested negotiation or litigation with your separated spouse over child custody, child support, alimony, or property division, and you have only been separated say, less than six months, then it is not in your best interests to begin a dating relationship with another person.
An outside dating relationship can affect the emotional dynamics of those negotiations and frequently makes the process significantly more difficult.
Here are the answers to some common questions about legal separation in North Carolina. Ullman & Associates now for specific answers to your individual questions.
No, you do not need to be legally separated to obtain a North Carolina divorce.