After 15 months of not living as husband and wife in our home we are finally separated and living apart. I’ve recently joined a small group at church and there is a guy that has asked several times about getting lunch after church. There will never be any chance of anything sexual at all, but what are my rights and what should I consider to safeguard anyone saying that there is? Are separated people barred from having friends of the opposite sex? I’ve read several posts that talk about extreme cases and the ramifications of sex and overnights with someone while separated but that’s not going to be the case with me. I just want to know what my rights are.
It is best not to date (romantically) while you are separated, or to give the appearance that you are dating someone, however, this is different than having a friend of the opposite sex in which you are not barred from doing.
Even though you are separated, you are still married. Your husband could believe that you dating now, while separated, was also going on during the marriage or that a boyfriend was the cause of the end of the marriage. Acts after the date of separation can be used to corroborate any events that happened during the marriage. There doesn’t always have to be sex involved.
This can affect your right to alimony if you are entitled to it as well as child custody and equitable distribution in some cases. Dating while separated can also bring civil liability to a boyfriend (or girlfriend) for alienation of affection.
Check out our article Dating While Separated for detailed information on this issue.