In Tennessee, dating and having sex during the course of a divorce can effect the outcome of the divorce proceedings. Tennessee remains a fault based state and infidelity both emotional infidelity and physical infidelity can be used as grounds for divorce. The problem is that when a contested divorce can sometimes extend out for months and years, asking the client not to date or have sex becomes problematic. One of the main factors I look at is to see whether or not children will be around the paramour.
The best advice is do not date or have sex while you are going through a divorce. Your spouse can and will use it against you and you will most likely be forced to answer questions regarding the relationship during your discovery phase of the divorce. The main thing is not to lie about the relationship if you are asked during discovery. And, DO NOT LIE ON THE STAND. Also, you need to be candid with your attorney and let them know that you are seeing someone so that can be prepared for the oncoming onslaught of accusations. As attorneys, we do no like it when the opposing side knows something we don’t.
When it comes to kids, generally, the Judges do not like it when you have a new paramour around the minor children. This can have a negative effective on the outcome of the custody determination and also may force the paramour to testify at your final hearing. One of the factors used in the “best interest of the child test” is to look at the character of the people that are in contact with the children.
Finally, be very careful with social media. Publishing pictures of yourself and your new boyfriend/girlfriend on social media, even if you believe your spouse is blocked will come back on you later. Social media has become a divorce lawyer’s best friend.