Question on dating while separated


My wife and I are negotiating a separation agreement and one of the clauses we discussed was being able to proceed with our lives in a manner as if we weren’t married. In other words, we agree we should each be allowed to date and be intimate with others.

I was under the impression that NC law states that even if you’re separated, it is still considered adultery. Is that indeed the law written in stone, or is it the sort of thing where both people can agree they are allowed to date others?


You are correct. Adultery is still a crime in this state, and you cannot agree to commit a crime, however in so far as the rights between spouses any agreement that states you may live as if you were unmarried will prevent your spouse from coming after you and using adultery to bolster and alimony claim.


Would this clause prevent the x from accusing the 3rd party of criminal conversation?


No. Since there’s no 3rd party waiver, there’s no protection of the 3rd party involved. Only the husband and wife are protected from each other. In essence, it means very little since adultery is virtually never prosecuted. Like Erin said, it only applies when arguing out alimony.


In a separation agreement, if you agree that you both can live as unmarried during the separation period, then you have taken care of any “adultery” claims that could possibly be brought against you. Even if you don’t hammer this out in a separation agreement, I seriously doubt anything would ever come of either one you “dating”. However, if you are the dependent spouse, you have to keep your life during the separation clean as a whistle. The supporting spouse can probably do any darn thing he or she wants to during this period. That dependent spouse wants no problems and no adultery charges brought against him or her. That’s very bad. So, if you make the money, go ahead and do whatever you wish. It’s all about the money, honey.


What about if you have kids and there is an argument over custody. It seems in this case there can be no overnights and from what I am being told you cannot even look like you have any type or relationship even when the relationship helps out and does more than the past stbx


No overnights with someone of the opposite sex is common language in a separation agreement when children are involved.

Unless there is specific wording in the agreement prohibiting any type of dating relationship or any other person being involved in children’t lives (ie: no introduction to new relationship until 3 months have past… ), then the STBX can’t prohibit the kids meeting, spending time with or having a relationship with a girlfriend/boyfriend. She/He may not LIKE it, but she/he can’t prevent it unless that new person is a danger to the children.


For the record, in my custody agreement, there is a clause preventing overnights with someone of the opposite sex. However, the ex violated the clause and I charged him with contempt. He is the supporting spouse. Nothing was done in connection with his contempt. The judge found the contempt “not willful” (seems the ex didn’t know that the overnight applied to a hotel (duh!) and the judge simply said, “tut, tut, don’t do it again”. But, I believe if I had violated the order, the story would have been so much different and so much worse. So, just make sure you have everything in writing and agreed upon before embarking upon a relationship if you are the dependent spouse!