Legal to date somebody else during the separation year?


#1

If my wife and I are separated with intent to divorce, as far as NC laws go, am I allowed to date somebody else, or would that be taken as infidelity even though we’re separated?

If it’s not seen as infidelity, can that be part of the separation agreement, a paragraph where it states clearly that both are free to meet and date other people?

Also, can my wife and I file taxes jointly or would that make it a problem in the future because we’re separated?


#2

Taxes: My understanding is that if you are married the whole year, you may file as married.

Dating: Yes, you may date, however, you may not sleep with another person during that period or technically you have committed adultery. While it may not have an effect on your divorce, your wife could come back and sue your paramour for Criminal Conversation. She could even possibly sue for Alienation of Affection if you and your paramour knew each other prior to separation.

Now, having said that, yes, you may write what is called a 3rd party waiver of claims prohibiting any such lawsuit into your separation agreement. Have an attorney draw up any such language rather than writing it into the sep agreement yourself, if you choose to go that route.


#3

You may date as you please, however athos is absolutely correct with respect to the 3rd party claims which your spouse could bring against your future partner. You may enter into a 3rd party waiver agreement to avoid this type of action.
As for the taxes, you and your wife may file jointly for so long as you are legally married, no matter what the current living arrangement is.