Filing for divorce is a tough decision, especially if you’re the one taking that first step and initiating the action. There is usually a lot of emotional baggage attached to such a move when you consider all the fallout and the realization that life will never be the same. You’ll have to break the news to family, friends — maybe even children. It’s not something to enter in to lightly.
But as tough as the decision may be, it can also be very advantageous. Here are just a few of the benefits that come from being the first to file divorce papers.
When you initiate a divorce proceeding, you have the ability to get your ducks in a row before your soon-to-be-ex. Whether that means hiring a lawyer or enacting a simple online divorce proceeding through services like ours, you are in the position to dictate how the dissolution of marriage plays out. In other words, you know exactly what to expect, from the amount of funds necessary for filing to what documents you’ll need.
Demanding Full Disclosure
According to Jeff Landers, author of the book Divorce: Think Financially, Not Emotionally — What Women Need To Know About Securing Their Financial Future Before, During, And After Divorce, spouses who file first — usually women — can keep their significant others from hiding assets prior to the divorce proceeding.
Landers also states that a major advantage for filing first is getting to choose the venue of where your divorce will be adjudicated. “If you and your husband have already separated and live in different counties or states, or if you spend equal time at homes in Connecticut and New York, for example, it is worth your while to check into the legal implications of filing in the different venues legitimately available to you,” Landers wrote in a recent piece for Forbes. “State laws can be widely different regarding such crucial considerations as child custody customs and division of marital assets, including whether or not an ATRO is part of the process. Your experience and expected outcome might vary widely in different jurisdictions.”
Stating Your Case First
Finally, as the first to file, you will be in a position to be the first to present your case at trial, and that can give you quite a bit of emotional strength.
According to Landers, “ending a marriage can be a wrenching, heartbreaking process,” but once the decision is made, “there can be some real emotional strength to be gained from taking the first tangible steps toward your new life.”
And that’s the kind of decision that can serve you well through the process and beyond. Are you thinking about filing for divorce? What’s holding you back?