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Dating After Divorce

If you have recently divorced, you may be wondering when you can or should start dating again. This depends on a number of factors, including knowing when or if you are ready, as well as things concerning the divorce itself.

Most states do not impose a moratorium on when a divorced person can begin dating, although for legal reasons, you may need to wait until the divorce is final. Entering into a relationship before the divorce has been officially granted may affect your settlement terms, including custody and financial arrangements.

The only thing that states may prohibit is remarriage for a specific period of time after the divorce, unless it is to the former spouse. These time periods can vary, but are usually between 60 and 90 days.

Your attorney may recommend that you not enter into a relationship or begin dating for a few months after the divorce is final so that you can be sure no problems are going to arise. Once that time has passed, you can start dating.

The emotional issue is, of course, a personal one. Many women and men are simply not ready to get back into “that scene” for a while after a divorce. Emotions are still fragile, and these can lead to making unwise decisions that may be regretted later.

Some men and women are simply too devastated by the divorce to begin dating for a very long while. This can be especially true if they did not want the divorce, and are hoping that reconciliation is still a possibility.

No one should be “forced” or coerced into dating after divorce until he or she is ready. Well-meaning friends may actually do more harm than good.

Neither should a person allow someone else’s moral feelings dictate when or if they should date after divorce. Some people still hold to the belief that marriage is “till death”, and dating after divorce is wrong. If this is not a person’s mindset, then they should respectfully acknowledge the other person’s feelings but ultimately make a personal decision.

If you have children, you may want to wait before introducing a new person to them, especially if it is apparent that there is little or no chance that the relationship will grow. If, however, it is apparent that the relationship may turn out to be permanent, then introductions can take place when both parties are ready, and in a manner that is comfortable for everyone involved.

Jessica Mousseau is the co-founder and editor of Thinkgirl.net, a women’s news website. She has written extensively on such topics as relationships, mental health, beauty, nutrition and finance.  View profile

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