"Dating" while separated


Dear Justwondering:

Greetings. Now, yes, you can date, but you cannot have sex with another person until you are divorced, as that is adultery and a crime in North Carolina, regardless of what your separation agreement says. You cannot waive your responsibilities for crimes in your separation agreement, as the District Attorney is not a party to your separation agreement and can still file charges against you for adultery.

Also, if you begin to date someone shortly after the date of separation, evidence of this relationship may be able to relate back to prior to the date of separation, and you may then have fault for alimony purposes. The general rule is that it is better to wait to date! “Wait to date” - best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.



My spouse and I are separated (living in separate homes), but have not had a separation agreement drawn up yet. My spouse told me that neither of us can date during the separation, according to what they have read. I understand that we are still legally married, and it would still be adultery if either of us engaged in sex with someone else…but is dating really not allowed? I cannot imagine that if the intention is to divorce, and a couple is legally separated, they aren’t allowed to date, but wanted to make sure.

Thanks for your help.