Legally in Illinois there is nothing that says you can't date or be in a romantic relationship with someone else during a divorce, but is it really a good idea? If you are reading this blog post, you are probably at least considering having a girlfriend or a boyfriend while your divorce is going on. Obviously, there can be tremendous emotional benefits to any loving relationship. My best friend's grandfather always says "the best way to get over someone is to get under someone" (if you catch the drift...). And hey, while I am all for love, romance and support during a time when you probably need it the most, legally- it can get sticky, especially if you have children and are fighting for overnight parenting time. Be discrete and make sure that your children always come first. Divorce is confusing and difficult enough for children without adding a new person into the mix. Having helped many Chicagoans get divorced, almost half of the people who I have represented in divorces are "dating". I have seen it have definite negative effects on the legal aspects of divorce, usually in one of two ways. First of all, it usually makes the person on the other side of the divorce very mad, even if they themselves are dating someone. 'Who cares' you say? Assuming that you would like to have your divorce resolved sooner rather than later and at a lesser expense, you should care since the majority of divorce outcomes are ultimately negotiated settlements. The more angry your spouse becomes, the more likely that he or she will want to hurt you in court or drag things out for reasons that may be completely irrational. The second way that I have seen people hurt by dating relationships during a divorce is when the allocation of parenting time is an issue. For my clients who must date, depending on how realistic this may be, I sometimes recommend being honest with their soon to be ex and even allowing the two to meet, with the parents deciding together how and when to introduce the new boyfriend or girlfriend to a child. Just remember- use your head and the more that you can consider other people's feelings, the more they will consider yours. If you are in a relationship and are considering divorce in Illinois and would like to discuss how a new girlfriend or boyfriend might impact things in your situation, please call my office at 630 250-8813 to schedule a confidential consultation.