Divorce is pretty tough for most couples. You’re going from being an “us” to an “I,” and not everyone is comfortable with that. It’s almost a given that individuals in the process of ending their marriages look for support from someone else. That’s natural and healthy, but when the supportive person winds up being a significant other, that becomes a problem during your divorce.
It becomes a bigger issue when those relationships flourish to the point of progressing toward marriage. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel with your divorce, but once wedding plans become a topic of conversation, the fact that you’re still married seems to become psychologically immaterial.
Rest assured – they are not. Planning a wedding while going through a divorce creates a LOT of problems.
Problems you create for yourself
Planning a wedding takes the ability to, well, plan: dates need to be set, venues chosen, deposits paid, guests invited who also need to make travel plans. Divorce settlement agreements, however, can fall apart and hearings can be delayed for any number of reasons.
For example, in Tennessee, engaging in a sexual relationship during your separation, and prior to finalization of your divorce, can leave the door open for your spouse to make a claim for adultery. All that’s needed to prove adultery is showing that you had the inclination and opportunity. Suddenly, your no-fault divorce is now a divorce based on grounds of adultery, which can affect more than you think, including the award of spousal support and even attorney fees to the non-cheating spouse. If your spouse can prove that you spent any of the marital estate on your new fiancé, it could place him or her in a position to receive a larger share of the marital estate in your divorce.
If you have children, your affair could create substantial conflict between you and your spouse that could detrimentally affect custody and visitation, depending on the circumstances.
Problems your spouse creates for you
Planning a marriage to your new love interest before your divorce is final is likely to press your soon-to-be-ex-spouse’s buttons, particularly if the person you’re marrying is the cause of your divorce. Almost as bad is that you met someone before your spouse was really ready to move on, so he or she is looking for reasons to ruin your happiness.
Your soon to be ex may see an opportunity to delay a hearing in an effort to stall your wedding day, just to make your life more difficult. You risk losing deposits, as well as being embarrassed as you explain to everyone about the delay. Your new fiancé is also likely to be very, very angry.
Your spouse may use the fact that you are solidifying wedding plans as a means to put you over a barrel to negotiate a better divorce settlement. If your back is against a wall, and he or she knows that you have money and another relationship at stake, it’s going to be viewed as a bargaining chip.
Furthermore, if you have kids, you may be planning to include them in your wedding. It can be difficult to explain a postponement to them in a way where no one looks bad, and the last thing you should ever do is badmouth your children’s other parent.
If your marriage is coming to an end, you need a highly skilled Nashville divorce attorney in your corner before you start to think about planning for a future with someone new. To reserve an in-person or video consultation with an attorney at Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC, please call our office at 615-454-9899, or reach out to us through our contact page.