And that means legal obligations to the legal spouse.And legal obligations can translate into emotional obstacles for getting into and staying in a new, healthy relationship.However – all that said – you will not get arrested, fined, or thrown in jail for dating if you’re married – or dating someone who is married whether you are or not.
Once you are legally separated, you are NOT divorced.
Dating during separation is not always a bad idea because it can help you decide whether divorce is really what you want.
In fact, some people decide to get divorced, file a legal separation document with the court, move out of the home they shared with their spouse and begin dating – only to realize that they made a mistake and want to get back with their spouse and continue the marriage.
Dear April Masini," I’m almost divorced, and I can't wait to get out there and start dating. Do you have any tips or advice for dating during the divorce process? It may be, but if you play by the rules, you’ll save yourself a lot of heartache, stress on your kids – if you have them – money and wasted energy along the way.
Please give me some advice that will help with my future relationships! You may feel divorced, and you may not have slept with your spouse in years – in fact, you may not have lived in the same home with him or her for years – but if you’ve filed a marriage license and you never filed a divorce decree with the court system – chances are, you’re still married.
Signed, Almost Divorced " Dear Almost Divorced, Almost pregnant is a state that does not exist. Acting Divorced Doesn't Make it So: Acting divorced is not the same thing as actually being divorced. So, you’re probably thinking, “What does it matter if the court system recognizes my divorce or not? I feel divorced and I live like I’m divorced – therefore I’m divorced in my eyes.” That, my dear, is asking for trouble. And more importantly, how do you know the person you’re dating is divorced – see this issue goes both ways.
You and your spouse may have been dating other people and even living with other people, but again – if you received a marriage license when you first got married and you never filed a divorce decree and got a piece of paper from the court, signed or stamped by a judge that states you are legally divorced, guess what? Even if both you and your spouse – notice I’m not calling him or her your ex – think you’re divorced because you act divorced as opposed to being legally divorced – at any time if one of the other of you – or worse, a third party – decides to come after you legally for a myriad of things from debt collection to child support for a baby born outside your legal marriage, etc. You may be perfectly divorced and you start dating someone you think is great – only to get an angry call from his or her spouse who doesn’t care that he or she is acting divorced – because they’re not.
Unless, that is, you live in a state such as Florida.... Where either of the parties living in an open state of adultery is married, both parties so living shall be deemed to be guilty of the offense provided for in this section.
Under Florida state law, adultery is listed as a punishable misdemeanor of the second degree in the 2011 Florida Statutes: 798.01 Living in open adultery.—Whoever lives in an open state of adultery shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 798.02 Lewd and lascivious behavior.—If any man and woman, not being married to each other, lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together, or if any man or woman, married or unmarried, engages in open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior, they shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.