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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 8069
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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I have a guy that I met after my divorce papers were filed

Customer Question

I have a guy that I met after my divorce papers were filed with the Utah courts that I would like to go on some dates with. How can it affect me negatively if I did go on a couple dates with him? We are fighting custody, who keeps the house, and who gets to claim who on taxes.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for your question.

From a child custody perspective, the court will look to the "best interests of the child" - a very broad and discretionary formula. So if the judge considers post-separation dating to be immoral, they can unfortunately take that into consideration. But generally the courts will only consider it if the child has witnessed something inappropriate or the third party is of questionable character.

For alimony, the court is allowed to consider "fault" when making an award. Some judges will not take into account post-separation dating because it did not lead to the divorce.

  • Financial needs of both parties after the divorce, which includes debts and other obligations.
  • Earning ability of the potential recipient after the divorce, which includes previous employment history, ability to work, and other streams of income.
  • Earning ability of the paying spouse, which includes the same pieces from the previous bullet point.
  • Marriage length. As time passed, the potential recipient may have grown increasingly dependent on the other spouse.
  • Child custody.
  • The marriage’s potential basis in employment. A boss marrying a former employee would factor into the employee’s ability to work post-marriage.
  • Standard of living for both parties before, during, and after the marriage.
  • Fault, which can include adultery, physical intimidation, fear, or undermining financial stability.

The statute specifically states that fault, including adultery, can be considered; however, case law is vague and contradictory i.e. Mark v. Mark 2009 ut APP 374;

Roberts v. Roberts, 2014 UT App 211

If the dating occurred after the separation, it generally did not lead to the breakdown of the marriage and most courts will not factor that in.

For property division, the division must be "equitable" - ie fair and just versus 50/50.

Please see:

https://www.utcourts.gov/howto/divorce/property.html

Since post separation dating didn't contribute to the demise of the marriage, it usually is not a factor.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
There would be no adultery involved. So, if I understand correctly, the judge could see it as immoral, and if he does, it could affect custody, and consequently claiming taxes?
Expert:  LegalGems replied 9 months ago.

Yes, that is correct - s/he can see it as immoral, but usually they aren't concerned with post-separation dating so long as it doesnt impact the children (ie witnessing inappropriate behavior, multiple partners, etc)

It could affect taxes as the primary caregiver parent usually claims the children on their taxes. information on taxes here specifically page 9

Further questions? Please post here to continue the chat.

Satisfied? Kindly rate positively so I receive credit for assisting you.

(no additional charges are incurred).

Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 8 months ago.

checking to see how this worked out for you.

thank you for using JA;

take care.

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