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Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice makes criminal the act of adultery when certain legal criteria, known as “elements,” have all been met.
There are three distinct elements to the crime of adultery under the UCMJ: first, a Soldier must have had sexual intercourse with someone; second, the Soldier or their sexual partner was married to someone else at the time; and third, that under the circumstances, the conduct of the Soldier was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.
Dating during divorce can have legal consequences both for the divorcing spouse and their new partner.
Dating while separated can hold up and complicate the divorce proceedings, can effect custody and visitation decisions, and rarely but possibly, depending on the state, may be grounds for a lawsuit.
Viken says in the quote above, if a desire to see other people was a primary motivation behind the separation, that may signal that the relationship is too much danger for a temporary "break" to solve.
It may imply that the separation is less about re-evaluating the relationship and more about having a chance at guilt-free cheating for a while.
Like ripples on a pond, the repercussions can affect family relationships for many years to come. In Tennessee divorce law, having sex with someone who is not your spouse prior to divorce, but after separation, is still adultery.
Of course, dating does not necessarily lead to sexual relations, but it certainly can and often does.
The first step in answering this question requires an understanding of the military’s prohibition on adultery.
In addition, in some states the new relationship may be considered in the division of property or alimony determinations, so the dating spouse may not get as much as they want out of the divorce depending on the new partner's financial circumstances.
This is especially true if the dating spouse begins cohabitating with their new partner during the divorce process.
In some cases this may even be the stated purpose: partners (one or both) may openly proclaim that they want to see other people to relieve emotional or sexual frustration, and/or to reassure themselves that their partners are truly the ones they want to be with.
(This is a common justification offered for adultery, and to be fair a temporary separation is a more honest way to go about it.) But in either case, this goes deeper than the complaints of "I just can't stand him [or her] anymore" described in the article. Casually going out for dinner and a movie with someone is one thing, but intimacy—however you want to define it, whether emotional, physical or both—is another.