Getting divorced can be a painful process, even if you are ready to end the marriage and find happiness in a new relationship. And sometimes, the act or effort to move on can actually make the process more complicated.

Dating during a divorce is something a lot of people wonder about, so it is important to know that it can affect a divorce in various ways.

Dispute resolution efforts

If dating upsets your ex, he or she may not be willing to go through mediation to resolve issues related to your divorce. Your ex might become more combative and less willing to compromise on certain matters.

Child-related matters

Dating right away can be difficult for your kids, especially if they are already struggling with the divorce. And if your behaviors or partners put the children in danger, you could have your parenting time reduced.

Property division

If you were dating other people during your marriage, such conduct could affect the distribution of marital assets as well as potential spousal support. In some cases, the courts may adjust property division in factor of the party who did not engage in marital misconduct; they could also deny support based on infidelity or claims of cohabitation.

Your position in negotiations

If you are dating during your divorce, you might feel guilty or sad when the time comes to meet with your ex. On the other end of the spectrum, you could feel very confident and supported by a new partner. In either case, you could wind up making long-term decisions based on short-term circumstances, which may not be in your best interests.

Of course, every situation and every divorce is different, so there is no guarantee when it comes to if and how dating will affect a specific divorce. With that in mind, it can be wise to discuss your individual circumstances with your attorney to examine any potential obstacles or drawbacks that might impact your divorce settlement.