Is it Still Cheating if You are Separated?
Is it Wrong to Date While Separated?
Some people may question if it's still considered cheating to date while you are separated. If you are headed for a divorce, you may be anxious to get out there and start dating again, and right away. But technically you are still married when you are just separated. If you have not signed the divorce papers, and the judge has not declared you divorced, then technically you are still married.
In some situations, couples may have an understanding; especially if both parties agree that the relationship is over, that it is okay to date or see other people while waiting for the divorce. In other situations, one partner may still have hope that the relationship will be repaired and the separation is only temporary. In situations like this, seeing other people during separation can be very touchy. It, more than likely, will be viewed as cheating by your spouse. This is why it is best to talk about it with your spouse before you embark on a new relationship.
Some states have very stringent divorce and infidelity laws. North Carolina, for instance, requires that you are separated for one full year before you can even file for divorce. They also have very strict laws in regards to infidelity. Infidelity is viewed as a crime in North Carolina. If you are unfaithful in the marriage, including during a separation, you can really have the book thrown at you when it comes time to diivy out alimony, and in determining child custody. It does not matter to the law, if you knew the relationship was over. It does not matter to the law that you had no intentions of repairing the marriage. If you are still legally married, you are not allowed to be intimate with anyone other than your spouse. And if you are planning on divorcing your spouse, who wants to do that?
In other states, if the law is not that strict on infidelity, although it's always viewed as immoral, you may want to discuss with your spouse, your intentions. If you want to start dating again, even while separated, discuss this. It may even be a good idea to have both of you put it in writing, what your intentions are, and that you are both okay about the other one dating while separated. This way it has a less chance of coming back to haunt you in the courtroom; you will both be on the same page.
If you want to make sure there is no trouble or questions, the best decision is to wait until you have the divorce papers, signed by the judge - in hand, before you decide to be intimate with someone else. This is the safest route to go, not only to avoid further conflict with your spouse, but to preserve your integrity as well as your financial future.
So, is it wrong to date while separated? No, to go out and have dinner with someone who you may consider a friend, is not wrong. However, to date, as in hop-in-the-sack with them, techincally is. Especially according to certain states, and laws.