Last year a friend of mine left his wife after 20 years of marriage, the couple had reached a point of inability to reconcile, and as there were three teenage children the decision was not made lightly.
He rented a flat not too far from the marital home, he was feeling depressed and looked very overweight. The children came and went in the first few weeks and seemed to take it in their stride.
My friend decided to take his health more seriously and hired a Personal Trainor to get in shape. Within a week he became very friendly with the 25-year-old girl who was conducting his training program, and romance bloomed.
For the first six months, the new relationship remained hidden as the children would have been traumatized at the thought. In the end, it all was sorted, but before that happened there were a few issues to be worked out and discretion played a part.
HOW LONG TO WAIT AFTER DIVORCE BEFORE DATING
2-6 months is recommended depending on your situation before you start dating again after your divorce. Your marriage has died so you need to grieve that loss. And to move forward, you must be whole emotionally, financially, mentally, and spiritually. And after you’ve accomplished these goals, it’s time to start dating again.
If children are involved in the divorce it becomes a much more sensitive issue, and at least six months should elapse before a new person is introduced into their lives.
Also in cases where a partner has been left, they often will become aggrieved if they see their ex having a very good time, and unfortunately in these days of Social Media, all news travels fast.
Until the property settlement takes place and the divorce proceedings are well underway or preferably take place it is better for all if you are not seen to be dating. Offense to others is easily caused and if you are living in a small place everyone knows everything.
MONEY AND FAIR DIVISION OF PROPERTY
In the divorce, I mentioned above both parties were involved in the family Company, he was a Director and the soon to be ex-wife was the Company Secretary, and unfortunately, she had been hearing rumors about her soon to be ex-husbands new romance. Imagine his horror when the accountant phoned and told him the $300.000 that kept the company afloat had been withdrawn, and the ex-wife was closing the company down.
This should have been discussed, but as she was only speaking to him through her lawyer a financial disaster was looming.
This is another very good reason why everything has to be finalized legally before you move on to a new relationship.
Both parties now had high profile solicitors, and after one year everything was finalized, this is what had to be decided before they could proceed:
- The proper arrangement must be made for the children, often join custody is agreed on.
- If the child is over 16 and they don’t wish to visit their divorcing parent they can’t be forced to.
- A divorce costs a lot of money, depending on who you hire to defend you.
- Once you have been separated for 12 months a divorce can be granted.
- Before the divorce the property settlement takes place. Separate your finances thoroughly.
- You must make a legally binding agreement with your spouse about appropriate child/children support payments.
- If you cannot reach an agreement the court will decide for you.
- If you want to apply for the division of family property a separate application must be made to the court.
- If you have more than one child your partner or the custodial parent will get a larger division of the funds once the property is sold. (mostly about two thirds to one third)
- Do not make any plans to remarry until your divorce is finalized
HOW LONG TO WAIT AFTER DIVORCE BEFORE DATING/ THE RIGHT ORDER
Divorce is traumatic and terrible for everyone. My friend handed over the family home and started again, with his new partner.
The fact remains, it was inappropriate to be seen out with a new person within weeks of leaving the family home, and this jeopardized the financial position, leading to her clearing out the company account, a considerable amount of money, and there wasn’t a thing that he could do about it except that once he made the decision to leave he should have immediately separated their finances in a fair manner.
Many leading divorce lawyers advise the party they are representing to do things that you would not normally do, and even though their advice is legal it is often morally reprehensible.
Where children are concerned it is important to be absolutely fair as your future relationship with them depends on how you behave now.
There are other people to consider in a divorce, like Grandparents, Aunt, and Uncles, and none of these family members want to be excluded from the child/children’s life.
WHEN CAN YOU MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE?
Where children are involved you are always going to have a relationship with your ex-partner, so the more amicable it is the better.
Once all the legalities are settled and you know what you are paying in maintenance and for how long you will be paying it ( varies in every place). It will be time to start dating again and to move on with your life. Your ex-partner cannot make any more claims on you once everything is legally settled.
If she finds her/his circumstances have changed and needs more money an application would have to be made to the court, and with older children, the ex would be expected to be working to help with upkeep.
Now that everything is in place it is certainly time for you to move on with your life.
Not only is divorce and separation traumatic for everyone, but it is also costly.
My friend said recently that the whole exercise has cost him $5 million dollars, but it should, in reality, be a lot less.
I think that the really important thing is to come out of it with your parent/child relationships almost totally intact, and in this case, the bonds appear to be stronger than ever thanks to him and his new partners’ total involvement with the lives and activities of the three children. As the oldest one is now 20, this level of intensity won’t be required forever but is worth it in the short term.