I know this has probably been asked several times, but when can I legally take a friend on a “date” without fear of the almighty AOA lawsuit? I have a friend that joins me for dinner now and again and has talked to me about taking our friendship to the next level. I have said I would eventual let her know.
NOT AN ATTORNEY
If you are out of the house permanently and not having any kind of sexual or romantic contact with your ex, then you can probably safely date, however, do not sleep together until after the divorce is final. Personally, I’d wait several months after the date of separation before dating at all. Even then, I’d say that just for safety’s sake, stick with double or group dates just to be safe. I wouldn’t be alone with the friend at your house or hers either until after the divorce is final. It’s probably a bit of overkill, but just so you don’t have the hassle it’s probably for the best. I didn’t date my husband until after the separation but because we started dating so close to the date of separation, it caused so much trouble. Lots of extortion, lots of threats. So, as long as you can avoid any appearance of impropriety, you should be OK. Double and group dates and not being alone with each other helps if you decide to date during separation. Just my opinion.
Thank you for the advice. I was kinda thinking that “friendly meetings” would be more the way to go than to call things a “date”. She is a sweetheart and I just don’t want to do anything that would jeopardize our staying close. And of course I have already told her that if we have primal urges that we would have to really hold them in for just over a year. Boy that is going to suck LOL.
AOA is only for pre-separation date. You can start dating as soon as there is a separation. It can still be an issue, in a contested divorce you will probably be asked about dating before and after separation date during discovery, effectively making you “look bad”. It can be used to collaborate an actual adultery claim but there would need to be some other evidence.
I really don’t think that this will be a contested divorce since I am giving her almost everything including primary custody of our child. She does want to try to work it out, but of course I have made it clear that there is no way that is going to happen.