Regardless of the state that you live in, if your marriage has come to an end, you may want to know whether or not it makes a difference which party files for divorce first. Although you may believe that there is no advantage to filing for divorce first, there are some factors that can influence this in your individual situation.
There are some advantages associated with filing for divorce first including planning in advance and taking your time selecting a knowledgeable divorce attorney. Scrambling to find a knowledgeable attorney with a 30-day period to respond to the former spouse’s request for divorce can seem overwhelming.
You are more likely to be emotionally, mentally, and financially prepared for the cost and process of divorce. When you are the one who files for divorce, you have the first choice about which court will ultimately hear your case. Depending on the state in which you live and your county or region, having your case heard in one courthouse over another could be seen as a significant advantage. As the petitioner, you will also be able to argue first at trial and you will have the opportunity to start protecting community assets as soon as you initiate the divorce process. In the event that you believe the other party in the divorce may try to stall, it is important that you consider the benefits of filing first.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of filing for divorce first is that you get the opportunity to meet numerous divorce attorneys and to determine one who will work with you in your individual case. This can give you a lot of confidence and peace of mind about the management of your case going forward. If you have questions about the divorce process or you are curious about how it might unfold in your individual case, it is a good idea to schedule a consultation with a divorce attorney as soon as possible to walk through all of your options. He or she may or may not recommend that you file for divorce first but it is important to have all of the information upfront so that you can make an informed decision about your future.