This is a question I am frequently asked; and although the technically correct answer is “yes,” my advice is usually “NO!

dating married but separated men-6

Unfortunately (or fortunately…depending on how you look at it), there is no simple mathematical equation, or test, or quiz that can predict whether or not your relationship will be a lasting success.

Our life is an —not a foregone conclusion (and that’s a good thing! But the more aware you are of what, potentially, you’re getting into when you enter a relationship, the better you can mitigate your chances of heartbreak and relationship disaster.

And with that awareness you make yourself more available for long-term love with the right guy.

An outside dating relationship can change the emotional dynamics of those negotiations and frequently makes those negotiations significantly more difficult. If you met someone for absolutely the first time after you separated from your spouse and you desire to begin a relationship with him or her, it is usually acceptable to do so, but remember what I said in number 3 above. If your separated spouse already has a dating relationship and you desire to enter into a new dating relationship (especially with someone you had no prior relationship with) then it is almost always acceptable for you to do so.

If the dating relationship under any of these scenarios (even the one where you met the person after you separated) becomes an intimate sexual relationship, and you are only separated but not divorced, then under North Carolina law your new dating interest can be sued by your spouse for criminal conversation.

Under the common law of criminal conversation, the mere act of having sexual relations with a married person (even if that person is separated) constitutes an act of criminal conversation under the civil law.

In at least one case in which I represented a client, an individual met a former spouse for the very first time after she separated.

They began a dating and later had a sexual relationship.

In retaliation and in connection with some other litigation that was going on, this spouse’s former husband filed a criminal conversation and alienation of affections civil action against this individual.