Dating while married separated
Legal separation can mean different things in different states, so it should come as no surprise that the laws regarding dating after legal separation are also somewhat inconsistent.
To further complicate matters, the Uniform Code of Military Justice has its own laws regarding adultery among members of the United States military.
While both spouses usually have an interest in the equity of that home, who has a right to stay in the home until the divorce is final largely depends on whether one spouse has left the residence voluntarily.
It is important to consider these issues before anyone leaves the residence.
If a married but separated man takes a woman out for dinner, but drops her off at the end of the evening and goes his own way, it’s generally not adultery. If he dates that woman repeatedly and they begin spending time together in each other’s homes, this can open the door for his spouse to claim the affair is adulterous because sexual contact might be taking place.
In some states, adultery is a crime, although it is rarely prosecuted.
This can affect issues of property distribution and alimony.
However, spouses are still legally married when they separate by this method. Adultery requires that sexual contact exists between a married individual and someone other than his spouse.
In North Carolina, unless one spouse is clinically insane, couples can only file for divorce after a one-year separation period.
If a spouse commits adultery prior to the beginning of the separation, it affects issues of alimony.
If the adultery occurs after the date of separation, it does not.
Under the terms of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, adultery is a criminal offense.