Dating During A Divorce: Is A Marriage Really Over The Moment One Files For Divorce?
When someone files for divorce, it usually means that they’re at their wit’s end when it comes to what they can do about their marriage. But does a filing necessarily mean that both parties have the green light to automatically go out and date other people? They can, but should they?
I ask that question because of all the fuss over whatever is going on between rapper T.I. and model/Instagram star Bernice Burgos. Rumors swirled that the two were getting to know each other better (again, whatever that means) after they were spotted leaving emojis on one another’s photos. There were also reports that they were actually spotted out together in Los Angeles.
Of course, T.I. is in the midst of divorce proceedings with estranged wife Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, so it’s hard to say he’s doing anything wrong. She filed for divorce in December, and while they haven’t even shown up to court dates to make this thing happen (and have been spotted with their children together like a happy family), they haven’t called off the plans to end their marriage. Still, to those who know them, they seemed to be attempting to make things work. Maybe that’s why Tiny publicly bashed Burgos on social media over the weekend after someone asked her about T.I.’s flirtatious relationship with the woman. When asked how Tiny keeps her cool considering how public T.I. and Burgos have been with their flirty emojis, she responded by saying, “I ain’t losing no sleep over no pass around b—h! Bless him & her too!”
Burgos has since responded by basically saying that she and T.I. are just friends, and she couldn’t break up a home that was already broken beyond measure:
But what really stuck out from her whole response (and she’s since responded a few more times in video form) to the slandering of her name was Burgos’s insistence that once a person files for divorce, the marriage is a failed one and both parties are more than allowed to move on and spend time with new people. That created quite the conversation on social media with people debating the idea that until a divorce is finalized, two parties are still married and shouldn’t date.
This is, when you think about it, much different from a separation situation. When two parties separate, they are still legally married (and might be staying married for all types of reasons, including religious). The consensus for most has been that you shouldn’t start dating during that time. The likelihood of reconciliation is high, so it doesn’t mean husband and wife are really over until they file for divorce and agree that it’s actually over. But what does it mean when one person files for divorce and the couple didn’t come to an agreement that they wanted a divorce? And considering that the person who didn’t want the divorce is the one who seemingly moved on, what’s the big deal, right?
Well, it’s kind of a big deal, not just emotionally, but in terms of the law. Depending on the state you live in where you’re filing for divorce, dating before your divorce is finalized can be considered a form of adultery. Things like adultery can affect your divorce case, hence Tiny saying the following after hearing everything Burgos has had to say:
And if you ask me, dating sounds like the last thing a person on their way out of a marriage should be focusing on — especially if their spouse is the one who said they want out. Some time needs to be spent figuring out what went wrong and what works needs to be done to ensure things go right, even if it’s with someone else, in the future.
Also, to be completely honest, it’s unfair to a third party, like Burgos, to be brought into a situation as complex as divorce. Hence another issue with dating while someone is going through a divorce. It gets ugly. While Tiny is taking her anger out on the wrong person, she has every right to feel some type of way, especially if he ever gave the impression that he might have wanted to fight for his family. Not to mention that the whole comment about the inability to break up an already broken home from Burgos sounds like something someone doing something they shouldn’t would say. Just saying. Still, considering that she spent years married to someone who allegedly spent a lot of time cheating, can Tiny really be surprised that he moved on so fast?
But what do you guys think? Since she filed for divorce, are they both free to date and do whatever they please? Would you?
Images via Splash and IG