Charlotte Christian, Esq. is a family and divorce lawyer and founder of Charlotte Christian Law. Headquartered in and serving cities throughout Alabama, Charlotte is in the process of opening offices in multiple states around the country. Born and raised in the Yellowhammer state she still calls home, Charlotte is committed to helping those who experienced loss overcome their hardships and build a new life, stronger and more resilient than they were before. No stranger to trauma herself, including enduring the sudden losses of her father while a young child and husband after 10 years of marriage, Charlotte knows what it means practically and legally to put the pieces in place to create a future filled with security, hope, and opportunity, and find happiness once again. MALINEE: Hello everyone. And welcome to Chapter 2 Club’s Smart Woman’s Guide to Break ups and Everything After. Today, I’m here with Charlotte Christian, family divorce lawyer, and Founder of Charlotte Christian law in Huntsville, Alabama. And we’re gonna be talking about so you’ve separated from your spouse, does this mean you can begin to date. Welcome Charlotte. CHARLOTTE: Thank you so much. This is a great topic for us to talk about because we hear this question so often and I think that we’ve kind of broken this down and thought through it, you know, why did we hear this question? Why is it brought up so much? And what we’ve kind of decided is that, you know, there’s five points to this. Once, we’re either rejected or, you know we want to get rid of a spouse a husband, we suddenly got freedom, we have freedom that we didn’t have before. So, you know, oftentimes we wondering what’s on the other side, what can I do with this freedom? We wanna find something better, that’s the second point. My marriage was bad, my husband was bad. There’s gotta be something on the other side that’s better. What is it? So we wanna quickly find out what that something better is and what that better life is. And, you know, thirdly, we wanna show him that we can date somebody. We can date somebody better than him because, you know, chances are pretty good that he’s probably got his eye on somebody else. We see that often and we wanna show him, you can do it and we can do it. Fourth thing that we find is that we wanna fill the spot. So no matter how bad you hate him when he filed for divorce, no matter how much you wanna get over him, you wanna fill that spot because he’s the person who came home to at night. You may had a marriage it may not, obviously, probably wasn’t a happy marriage but you want something there. A lot of times, women want something there. They wanna fill that spot. And so they wanna date quickly. And then lastly, we find the reason is that women just oftentimes don’t wanna be alone. They want to have somebody with them. Like I just said to come home to, to share things with and they just don’t want to be alone during the transition. It gives them a security to have somebody else there. But all of these reasons are internal reasons. They make you feel good, but you really shouldn’t. You really should not date until you’re divorced. I know that’s not probably what you wanna hear but hear me out. And let me tell you why, the reasons why and kind of try to give you some better advice on that because ultimately in the end it’ll be better for you if you don’t date. And here’s why. Number one, you’ve just gotten rid of… I guess that’s a bad way to put it, but you’ve just removed yourself from a spouse that you weren’t happy with. And if he’s not happy with you or he wasn’t happy with your marriage, he can ruin your dating life. So if you go find a really good guy and you have somebody that, you know has a potential to be your forever person your ex could ruin that. So, you know, he could come and cause problems with the dating. He can cause problems with your new guy. He could just have all kinds of problems and cause problems and ruin a good guy off. So I say, just, wait. Wait until you can have assurance that he’s out of your life and he’s not going to come affect your dating life as much. You know, big thing with custody and alimony, okay. Custody is so important that you don’t date because even though you may have started the day you split up or five or 10 or a month after you split up it still is gonna appear to the judge and your husband’s lawyer is gonna make it appear that you ran right into the arms of another man which sort of may look like to judge that you were already looking for somebody else. And it also, I guess kind of makes you appear less than the victim. Not saying that you want to appear to be the victim but especially if your husband did, you know, is the perpetrator, is the one that caused the divorce. You don’t wanna go and run into the arms of somebody else and make it appear that you were the one looking for another man. It hurts you financially. And it hurts you with custody. With custody, the court is gonna look and say, you know, you weren’t mature enough to put your children first. You ran to another man. So, you know, because of that, there may be some problems with your getting the physical custody of your children. So you certainly don’t wanna give the other side anything negative that can be used against you. But you know, it doesn’t matter that you’ve been separated for six months. You’re still married to the guy. And until you can get a divorce from him you really don’t need to be dating because any guy who you date is dating a married woman. So, you know, I just suggest for financial reasons and for custody reasons that you don’t do that you’re gonna hurt yourself, you don’t have children, you’re gonna hurt yourself with alimony because, you know, it’s gonna appear that you have another man in your life and you certainly, you don’t wanna do that. You want to keep the situation status quo and let the court see what your ex husband contributed to the marriage and let the court determine what your numbers are gonna be based on you not having been dating. So I know that he feels like it takes forever to get a divorce. Some States takes longer than others but what I would suggest is hire a lawyer, whatever State you’re in hire a lawyer who understands how to push your case through as quickly as possible. You have to have a lawyer who understands how to drive your file, drive your facts and drive your case from the beginning to the end. So that you’re not just a file sitting on his or her desk that they get around to when the court finally sets a date. You got to hire somebody who knows how to drive it through and get you through as quickly as possible. If you do that, you’ll be divorced before you know it. And then you are in a safe situation where you can go out and date but we certainly do not advise you to date while you are in the middle of the divorce or until your final decree comes in. MALINEE: Wonderful. Thank you for these insights, Charlotte, this is great. And I hope our audience out there found this useful as well. And you can find more resources on our website at chapter2club.com. Thank you so much for being here. We really appreciate it. CHARLOTTE: Thank you.