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You and your husband have decided to separate. While you work through the often lengthy divorce process in Minnesota, you learn that your husband has met someone new. Not only is he dating during your separation period, but he actually moved in with his girlfriend.

This scenario is not uncommon as divorcing spouses start new relationships before their marriage legally ends. However, there are important legal and financial implications to consider if your estranged husband is living with a girlfriend before your divorce is final.

Should I Date While Separated From My Spouse?

Dating during separation poses many potential legal and emotional complications.

Here are some key questions to ask yourself before getting involved with a new romantic partner during your marital separation:

  • Have you and your spouse clearly agreed to separate and divorce? Or is one spouse still hoping to reconcile?
  • Have you filed for legal separation or divorce yet?
  • Do you have a formal separation agreement in place?
  • Where do you and your spouse stand on spousal support?
  • Have you started the process of dividing marital property and assets?

If you don’t have clear answers to these questions, it’s better to wait until you’re further along in the separation or divorce process before dating someone new.

Can My Husband Date While We Are Separated But Still Married?

Many couples separate and live apart for months or years before their divorce is finalized. This leads to the question – is dating during separation considered adultery in Minnesota? Technically, yes, but unfortunately, adultery does not affect a divorce in Minnesota.

You and your spouse are still legally married during your separation period. This means sexual relations with a new partner before divorce is not automatically grounds for an at-fault divorce. Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state, meaning you do not have to prove fault-based grounds like adultery to get divorced.

While dating during separation is not illegal per se, there are some important factors to consider:

  • It can be upsetting emotionally – Knowing your husband has moved on to a new relationship while you are still working through separation can be painful and difficult to accept. You may feel he has betrayed the marriage.
  • It can impact your separation agreement – If your husband is spending marital funds on his girlfriend, hiding assets, or not contributing to family expenses, this could be addressed in your separation agreement.
  • It may harm your children – Your kids could be hurt or confused if introduced prematurely to the dad’s new partner before the divorce is finalized.

While dating during separation has no direct legal bearing, there are certainly emotional, financial, and logistical factors to weigh if your spouse is seeing someone new before divorce.

5 Reasons Why Dating During Separation Could Complicate Your Divorce

Although dating during separation is not illegal, here are 5 reasons it is better to wait until your divorce is finalized before starting a new relationship:

Emotional Impact on Children

Bringing a new romantic partner into the picture too soon can create confusion and stress for your children. They may feel loyalty conflicts being introduced to a new girlfriend or boyfriend before adjusting to their parent’s separation. Even amicable divorces are difficult for kids, so giving them time and space for new relationships is wise.

Could Negatively Affect Property Division

If you or your spouse spends marital funds or sells assets to support a new relationship, it can have financial implications on your divorce property division. Hiding money to fund gifts and trips for a girlfriend or boyfriend could be fraudulent and impact your settlement.

Risk of a Contentious Divorce

If your soon-to-be ex learns you are dating before the divorce, it could cause hurt feelings and anger, making your divorce more contentious. This is especially true if money is being spent on the new partner while divorce proceedings are still pending.

May Reduce Spousal Support Amounts

In Minnesota, the impact of cohabitation with a new partner on spousal maintenance depends on the nature of the relationship. The court looks at factors like shared household expenses and functioning as a married couple. If your living situation mirrors a new marriage, alimony could be reduced or terminated.

Personal Emotional Wellbeing

Rushing into dating before you have healed and your divorce is final may not give you the time you need to process the end of your marriage in a healthy way. Taking it slow allows you to enter new relationships from an emotionally strong, stable place.

While the reasons to wait are compelling, the decision remains a personal one. Some find dating helps them move on and regain confidence after separation. Either way, consult your Minnesota divorce lawyer to understand any potential legal impact based on your situation.

My Husband Cheated And Moved In With His Girlfriend – What Are My Rights?

Nothing feels more shocking and painful than discovering your husband’s affair – only to learn he has moved in with his new girlfriend before your divorce. It is an extremely difficult situation emotionally, but one that can be navigated successfully.

Here are some steps to take:

  1. Speak to your divorce lawyer – Make your family law attorney aware of the situation. They can advise you if your state recognizes adultery and how it may impact divorce proceedings.
  2. Consider therapy – Infidelity combined with separation is traumatic. A therapist can help you process the emotions, reduce anxiety, and move forward in a healthy way.
  3. Discuss the impact on your kids – If they will be introduced to your husband’s girlfriend, talk to your lawyer about proposing limits on contact until after the divorce.
  4. Know your financial rights – Your divorce settlement is at stake, so be proactive. Track assets, seek spousal support, and determine rights to marital property.
  5. Take time to heal – You may feel overwhelmed but focus on self-care through exercise, socializing, hobbies – anything that uplifts you. This, too, shall pass.
  6. Move forward positively – At first, it seems impossible, but you can and will get through this. The future awaits greater peace and new relationships.

While extremely painful, try approaching the situation as another obstacle to overcome on your path to a new beginning. You have support, strength, and legal options to reach the other side successfully.

How Can Living With a Girlfriend Impact My Divorcing Husband?

If your husband moves in with a girlfriend before your divorce settlement is complete, it can impact him both personally and legally. It may violate the terms of your marital separation agreement regarding living arrangements or use of marital assets. Make sure your agreement outlines the appropriate use of joint finances during separation.

His personal conduct could be scrutinized if he is not contributing appropriately to household expenses or childcare. Keep records if he fails to provide spousal or child support. Staying with a girlfriend could reduce his living expenses, giving him more disposable income that should be considered marital property up for division.

Moving in together establishes a level of commitment that could give his girlfriend legal standing if it continues after the divorce. While your husband’s choices are out of your control, communicate with your Minnesota divorce attorney about how his actions impact you legally or financially. By understanding your rights, you can better protect your interests as you negotiate divorce terms.

Can My Ex Use My New Relationship Against Me?

If your divorce is contentious, your ex may try using your new relationship against you. For example, if you introduce your new partner to your children before your divorce is final, your spouse could claim this will be emotionally harmful to the kids.

Your ex could also try to prove you diverted marital assets to support your new partner rather than dividing property equitably. Tread cautiously regarding finances with a new romantic interest before your divorce settlement is complete.

Working With a Minneapolis Divorce Lawyer

Dealing with a husband eager to move on can add challenges during your Minnesota divorce. The qualified Minneapolis divorce lawyers at Martine Law help clients strategically navigate separation and divorce when a spouse is already living with a new partner. We aim to protect your interests and help you achieve the best possible outcome.

To schedule a consultation with an experienced Minnesota divorce attorney, contact our offices in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Lake Elmo today. We even offer evening and weekend consultations by request.