Consideration is also given to the religious faith of the child, and the evidence of physical or sexual abuse.
Legal separation can mean different things in different states, so it should come as no surprise that the laws regarding dating after legal separation are also somewhat inconsistent.
At the end of the litigation, the court issues a decree of legal separation.
Some states, such as New Jersey, call this a divorce from bed and board.
Also, your spouse might file an action for “alienation of affections” or “criminal conversation” seeking substantial money damages against your paramour based upon his or her sexual intercourse with you or interference with the marital relationship between you and your spouse either before or after the date of separation and before a divorce is final.
One spouse must file a petition with the court and a judge decides issues of property, support and custody, much as he would in a divorce.
In any action for divorce from the bonds of matrimony the court may at any stage of the cause, or from time to time after final judgment, make such orders touching the care, custody and maintenance of the children of the marriage and what, if any, security shall be given for the same as from the circumstances of the parties and the nature of the case and the best spiritual as well as other interests of the children may be fit, equitable and just.
In determining the best interests of the child, the court must consider the child's reasonable preference for custody.
You should be forewarned that you will likely be asked under oath at a deposition or at trial about any dating or romantic relationships.
To answer these questions falsely would constitute perjury.
To further complicate matters, the Uniform Code of Military Justice has its own laws regarding adultery among members of the United States military.