Is Dating Before the Divorce is Final Okay?

Divorce can be difficult and may sometimes take months or even a year or more to accomplish. Some people wonder is dating before the divorce is final okay? It is important to note that in Arizona, there is a mandatory 60 day waiting period before a divorce can be finalized. While it is not illegal to do so, there can be some consequences for those who begin dating before their divorces are finalized.

Grounds for Divorce in Arizona

Arizona provides no-fault divorce which allows divorces based on the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Generally, in no-fault divorces marital property and assets are divided equitably between partners. However, if adultery is used as the grounds for divorce instead, the result may be a less equitable arrangement when property is divided if it can be shown that community assets were used or spent on a paramour.

The Impact on Child Custody

Couples with children could be risking custody or visitation by introducing a new partner into the mix. This is particularly true if the new partner has any skeletons in the closet such as felony or sex offender convictions. Parents should look into any new partner’s background as best as they can before engaging in a new relationship. The court will always act in the best interests of the child. If there is any question as to the safety of the child, the court will take actions to prevent harm. Older children may have reservations about a parent’s new friend and the relationship could become strained as a result. While parents are certainly free to live their lives and date whom they choose, they should always keep in mind the affect it may have on their children. Parents should consider dating quietly and out of the direct knowledge of their children until the new relationship appears stable, consistent, and likely to continue into the future.

Making Dispute Resolution More Difficult

While you may be excited about your newfound love interest, the situation can cause negotiations with your spouse to become more difficult. Do not include your new friend in the discussions regarding the settlement terms of your divorce. This will likely only cause friction between you and your spouse and create a much more complicated resolution. Remember that your situation is between only you and your spouse and only the two of you can achieve a successful outcome.

When the Divorce Process is Lengthy

A divorce may take anywhere from a few months for a simple situation to 6 months or more for a more complex dissolution of marriage. When there are disputes the process can take considerably longer. Certainly it is not a requirement not to date during the process, it is best not to engage in the relationship quietly while the dissolution is pending. If you have questions about divorce or need to begin the divorce process, call the lawyers at Udall Shumway PLC for a consultation.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Dating Before the Divorce is Final, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact Barry C. Dickerson at 480.461.5300, log on to, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools, and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.