Having practiced divorce and family law for over 25 years, I am often asked about girlfriends, boyfriends and significant others.
What if my wife finds out about my girlfriend? Being a no-fault divorce state, the reasons for the divorce/dissolution are irrelevant to divorce actions in Kentucky. Whether you have a boyfriend, are abusive, do not contribute or abuse alcohol are all irrelevant to divorce, division of assets or support. Some of these factors may have affect custodial rights, if they also affect the children or your ability to make sound decisions. As such, it is advisable to not share your extra-marital relationships, but the knowing is of little consequence to overall divorce.
When can I start dating? Similar to the first question, you can start dating whenever you want. Your spouse/ex has nothing to do and the information is irrelevant to the divorce. That said, if you have children the best advice is to not date or at least not date around the children. With a standard shared parenting, it should be easy to date on the 50% of the time when you do not have the children to prevent an allegation that your new beau is not in the children’s best interest.
How does a new spouse affect support? If the party receiving spousal maintenance remarries, their support will likely terminate pursuant to KRS 403.250. Conversely, child support should not be modified based on remarriage by either party. The new spouse’s income is not relevant to the proceedings, unless to establish that one party is voluntarily underemployed.
Girlfriends, boyfriends and many other relationships also gives great fodder for rumors and distrust between divorcing parties and the children. Remember, it is important to maintain a sensible relationship with the other parent of your children. In order to keep the relationship amicable and emotions to a minimum, you should keep new relationships away from the spouse.
If you have questions about involving a paramour, girlfriend, boyfriend or any other person, you should first speak with your attorney. Much advice in this arena is case specific and may depend on the stage of your divorce and many other factors which are individual to you and your case. This may include mental health, attorneys involved, and the Judge to whom your case is assigned. Knowledge of all of these is essential to receiving the best and most specific legal advice.