If my wife and I are living apart with a signed separation agreement, amI legally allowed to date another woman?

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If my wife and I are living apart with a signed separation agreement, amI legally allowed to date another woman?

My wife and I are “on the way out” so to speak. I’ll be moving out within the next month or so, and we are in the process of getting a separation agreement filed. Once this is signed and I am moved out, am I allowed to date another woman? Would my current wife have any legal actions that could be taken against me if she wanted? Just trying to make sure of this ahead of time.

Asked on December 24, 2011 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are not legally divorced and if you live in a state that allows for at fault divorces which include adultery, you could be in a pile of trouble. The better approach of course is to make a clean break so your wife doesn't have anything against you, including monies you spend on the other woman, especially if you will wind up splitting assets and debts in such a way that she will complain about your personal expenditures. It may be simply easier to see if you can go through a quicker divorce process by mediating this through family court and not waste too much time on an extended separation. While a legal separation will help divide your future assets and income as your separate property, it may not help in the long run if your wife can bring up additional issues as she finds out through the divorce process.


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