The Early Bird Catches the Worm: Is It Ideal to File for Divorce First?
In the world of sports, serving first definitely has its advantages. In some ways, this is similar to divorce.
First, let’s agree on one thing. No one should rush into dissolution of marriage. Talk to any family lawyer and he or she will tell you that, unless there’s a need to file immediately (e.g. there’s threat of physical harm). But while it certainly seems illogical to race your spouse to the courthouse out of spite, or for the satisfaction at being the first to say “gotcha”, there are legitimate reasons to consider filing first.
Here are some of them:
Assembling a team of experts on your side in advance will help you achieve the best possible outcome from the divorce. That’s because you can take the time to choose the people you’ll work with, from the divorce attorney right to the financial planner (if you have a financially complex case).
In addition, you can gather and organize important documents before the proceedings, which saves you from the hassle and high legal fees.
Choice of Jurisdiction
If you and your spouse are already living separately and in different states, both states could have jurisdiction over your divorce. Because divorce laws vary greatly in different counties and states, this could have a tremendous impact on the outcome of the case. Filing first will give you the power to decide where to file, and you can pick the area more favorable for you.
Secured Access to Funds and Credit
Filing for divorce first allows you to set aside money for the expenses involved. Ideally, you should have a significant amount of money in an account that’s yours alone. If you don’t, you need to open one as soon as you think about divorce.
Remember, the process, as well as the attorneys and financial experts involved certainly don’t come cheap.
Just as in sports, going first can certainly put you at an advantage. Take note, however, that divorce should be a serious consideration, and filing for one should be done when the marital relationship has truly reached the end of the line.