Dating can be a very touchy subject while a party is going through a divorce. As a divorce, I often have clients ask me about when it is ok for them to begin dating again. While the answer is always case specific, there are certain pitfalls that an individual going through a divorce should look to avoid. The internet dating era has provided further opportunities to an individual to do damage to his or her case. The following are a few rules to follow regarding what not to include in an internet dating profile if you are currently going through a divorce.
First and foremost, if you have children and are involved in a custody battle, leave them out of your dating profile. Although they may be a very important part of your life, there is no reason to include photos of your children on a website that tens of thousands of people have access to. A judge would never approve of you having photos of your children on your dating website. At the same time, do not state that you have no children if you actually do. In the alternative, this could give the court the impression that your children are not an important part of your life or that you are dishonest.
Next, please do not include anything deceptive about your income. It is not uncommon for a person to take “creative liberties” with his or her level of income on a dating site. After all, listing a higher income may provoke more responses from prospective suitors. However, if you make $75,000 per year but list your income as $150,000, you are opening yourself up to a barrage of questions regarding your actual income. The opposing side in your divorce case could very well use that information against you in an attempt to get a larger portion of the marital estate or a higher alimony award.
Finally, if you are involved in a custody case, don’t post any pictures or list any interests that may raise red flags that you may be an unfit or irresponsible parent. The court’s primary concern is determining what is in the best interest of the child(ren). If you have pictures of yourself with alcohol, drugs or other paraphernalia posted on your profile, you can bet that the other side will use those against you in effort to decrease the amount of custodial time you get.
Although many of the dating websites are private and require a membership to view individual profiles, never assume that your future ex will never learn of the content of your profile. Opposing attorneys routinely check dating sites and friends or family of your ex may have a profile and happen upon yours. Please, use common sense if you are active on one of these sites and think of the consequences of posting certain information.