What Should You Do if You Meet Someone Else and Wish to End Your Marriage?

Despite our best intentions, love can sometimes develop in unexpected ways – potentially causing us to rethink our marriages and move toward a new life. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to understand that you are not alone. Many other Americans have gone through similar experiences, and sometimes we need to accept that we cannot control what happens with our hearts. But while our hearts and desires might be unpredictable, it is important to approach divorce in a logical and straightforward manner. Ending a marriage after meeting someone new is perfectly acceptable, but there are certain issues that could make this situation complicated during a divorce. If you follow a few simple guidelines, you can end your marriage in a dignified and professional manner before moving on with your life.

Adultery is Illegal in North Carolina

The first thing you need to know is that adultery is technically against the law in North Carolina. This means that you need to be incredibly careful when you start publicly revealing that you have started a new relationship and ended your previous one. If your spouse finds proof that you were unfaithful during the marriage, they may use it against you in a number of different ways. While it is rare to experience more than a slap on the wrist for adultery in the criminal courts, these actions can lead to civil lawsuits called heart balm torts. In addition, proof of infidelity can lead to negative results during your divorce.

If you look at the criminal code in North Carolina, you will find that adultery is a Class 2 misdemeanor. However, a 2006 Supreme Court ruling found that this law is unconstitutional. This means that adultery will almost never result in legitimate criminal charges. In addition, adultery cannot be used as grounds for an absolute divorce because North Carolina is a “no-fault” state. While your spouse might certainly choose to divorce you after they learn of your infidelity, they cannot use this specific reason as a basis for their actions.

This might lead you to believe that adultery is not a big deal. Before you get too carried away, you should know that adultery can rob you of your right to receive alimony in North Carolina. If you are a supporting spouse, you might automatically owe the other spouse alimony due to your infidelity. If you are the dependent spouse, you might automatically be barred from receiving alimony due to your infidelity. Heart balm torts are another matter entirely, and they involve your extramarital partner being sued rather than you experiencing any direct financial or legal consequences. However, it is something to consider – especially if you plan to live under the same roof as your extramarital partner after the divorce and join forces financially.

With all that said, there is no law against meeting someone new. The burden of proof is on your spouse to show that the relationship was intimate while the marriage was still in effect. You can always state that you ended your first relationship before beginning a new one.

How a New Partner Might Affect Child Custody

You also need to consider how a new partner might affect your children. It is always a good idea to put your children’s best interests first and consider how they might feel when they discover you are with someone new. Consider taking it slow – especially when it comes to introducing your children to a new partner. You might want to live apart from your new partner until the divorce is finalized, as this can make your custody battle easier.

If you immediately move in with someone new, your spouse might use this against you in the custody battle – claiming that you are exposing your children to psychological trauma. After the custody battle is over, you can slowly start acclimatizing your children to the idea of a new relationship. Eventually, you can move in together without issue. This is the best way to “play it safe” when it comes to custody and new relationships.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Divorce Attorney in the Carolinas?

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced divorce attorney in North Carolina or South Carolina, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have assisted numerous divorcing spouses in the Tar Heel State and now broadening to the Palmetto State – including those who have ended their marriages after meeting new people. While there are many potential hurdles to look out for, you can overcome all of these issues for both financial security and positive legal results after a divorce. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective action plan