Can I Date During a Divorce in Michigan?

Posted by Jannelle J. Zawaideh on Monday, October 15th, 2012 at 10:17am.

Can I Date During a Divorce in Michigan?

With major life changes like a divorce in Michigan, some people want to get back to normal as quickly as possible.adultery_426  Sometimes this means dating during a pending divorce.

While dating other people during the divorce doesn't really create any legal issues, it can turn what could be a civil divorce case into something very ugly with a great deal of conflict.  We've seen on a number of occasions where a spouse discovers the other is dating during a divorce case.  As a result, they demanded discover information on what the relationship began among other information.

Now if you want to expand that relationship into a sexual one after a divorce case is filed, it's important to reference Knowles vs. Knowles (185 Mich App 497, 462 NW2d777 in 1990).  The court held "we do not think the evidence of defendant's recent affair was relevant since it took place after the breakdown of the marital relationship and after the plaintiff had files her complaint for divorce".

With that said, one case does not necessarily  set the precedent that there is no negative consequences associated with sexual relationships while a Michigan divorce case is pending.  This could actually be quite dangerous and damaging during a divorce.

In Morell vs. Morell 2003, the court held "We note Knowles is not a binding precedent because it was issued before November 1, 1990".

Furthermore, MCL 750.29 defines adultery as the sexual intercourse between two people, either of whom is married to another individual or third party.  MCL 750.30 states that any person who commits adultery will be guilty of a felony.

While the desire may be there to date other people and engage in sexual activity because you feel as if your relationship to your spouse has come to an end, it's important to realize that such a relationship offers absolutely no legal benefit to you and could potentially lead to negative consequences - especially in light of an existing prenuptial agreement.

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