'Do not rush into dating' - What you shouldn't do while going through a divorce

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Illustration photo by Getty Images
Illustration photo by Getty Images
  • Attorney Simon Dippenaar of SD Law and Associates says there are things you shouldn't do when going through a divorce.
  • Even if your breakup is amicable, it's generally wise to wait until your divorce is finalised to start dating again.
  • During this time, it is not ideal to take on new debt or change jobs. Financial stability is more important at the moment than pursuing a career opportunity.

Leaving a marriage does not happen in a vacuum. It is often said that first, people check out emotionally before deciding to shut the door psychically. This may prompt the tempting idea of starting to date again, but attorney Simon Dippenaar of SD Law and Associate warns against this. 

Former Miss SA Claudia Henkel recently admitted that she was stunned when she heard that her businessman ex Orin Roesstorff, had tied the knot with his girlfriend, Chloe Frampton, while still married to her. 

Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa's marriage to her husband, DJ Black Coffee, is also in the spotlight. For years, the estranged spouses have been in court and are yet to finalise their divorce. The actor is in an alleged cheating scandal with a married man. 

READ MORE | Why is January considered 'Divorce Month'? An attorney breaks it down

Dippenaar says there are things you do not do when going through a divorce and adds that the process can drag on, become costly, and cause tremendous distress. 

Here are three things to steer clear of during a divorce process: 

Don’t jump into dating

Even if your breakup is amicable, it's generally wise to wait until your divorce is finalised to start dating again. You don't want your friends or reasonable spouse to become hostile out of jealousy and turn an uncontested divorce into something much messier. If you have met someone and you'd like to spend time with them in public, talk to your lawyer first to ensure you don't compromise your case.

READ MORE | All couples have their issues - An expert shares 6 common relationship struggles

Take inventory of your finances

If you don't already have a record of your income and expenditure, create one. As year-end statements arrive, save them to a folder (or take a photo if they come as paper in the mail). Even if you are not responsible for the family finances, now is the time to bring yourself up to speed. When it comes to negotiating maintenance, you will need to know the cost of maintaining the household.

It's not a good time to take on new debt or change jobs. Financial stability is more important at the moment than pursuing a career opportunity.

Are you going through a divorce, and how are you handling it? Tell us here.

READ MORE | How much does a divorce cost? Hard to say but an attorney shares what you can expect

Beware of social media

The reach of social media – including messaging platforms like WhatsApp – is vast. Please don't underestimate its influence. If you haven't yet started divorce proceedings, don't pre-empt your own course of action by saying or even hinting at your intentions on social media. Be careful what you say about your spouse, both positive and negative. You may undermine your argument if you gush about their parenting skills but later ask for full custody of your children.


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