Musicians Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale recently decided to divorce after thirteen years of marriage and three children together. Gwen Stefani, Gavin Rossdale Divorce: What’s at Stake?, by Alexandra Hurtado, people.com, August 10, 2015. Shortly after the divorce was filed, Stefani went public with her romance with her The Voice co-star and fellow musician, Blake Shelton, who also recently went through a public divorce from country star, Miranda Lambert. Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani Are Dating, by Melody Chiu, people.com, November 5, 2015. The new couple has been flaunting their relationship everywhere, both on and off camera. Shelton’s divorce is final, but could this new relationship and accompanying PDA impact Stefani’s pending divorce action?
The short answer is yes. Anytime spouses go through a divorce, there are likely to be raw wounds that take time to heal. Raw wounds can turn into emotions running higher, and emotions are one thing that can certainly turn a fairly “easy” divorce into a highly contested one. Flaunting a new relationship can certainly fan the emotional flames of a new breakup. A person who is hurt/angry/embarrassed by a spouse’s new relationship may not be as willing to work things out amicably. In addition, in Georgia, there are several divorce issues that can be directly impacted by a spouse’s actions during the marriage and pending divorce, including, equitable division, alimony, and child custody. Stefani and Rossdale were married for 13 years and there are substantial assets to divide. Gwen Stefani, Gavin Rossdale Divorce: What’s at Stake?, by Alexandra Hurtado, people.com, August 10, 2015. While alimony is unlikely to be an issue, the parties will have to work out custody of their three minor children. Though this case is in California, which divides marital assets equally, it possible that the court will take Stefani’s actions surrounding her new relationship into consideration in deciding custody, especially if Rossdale brings them up.
A piece of advice that most experienced family attorney’s give to divorce clients is to wait to date until the divorce is final. This will likely save both parties lots of heartache and money arguing over things that should be settled fairly quickly. If you cannot or are unwilling to put off dating until the divorce is final, then you should be discrete about your new relationship. Do not flaunt it in front of your soon to be ex spouse, or other friends or family members. Do not bring the person around your kids. Hopefully, under those circumstances, the relationship will not fan the emotional flames and make the divorce more difficult or contentious than it needs to be.