Does it Matter Who’s First When Filing for Divorce? 

Filing for divorce is often a stressful and emotional process, so it is essential to ensure you have all the necessary knowledge to file efficiently. If you feel like your marriage is not going to work, you may be wondering if you need to begin filing before your spouse does. In many cases, you must consider not only yourself, but your children throughout the divorce process and potential custody battle. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of being the first one to file for divorce.

Advantages to Preemptively Filing

One of the biggest advantages to consider if you are thinking about filing for divorce first is that you will be prepared. If you file before your spouse, you would have more time to find a lawyer, get copies of essential financial documents, account numbers, and any necessary evidence.

You could take your time finding the right lawyer for your case. Once you have picked an attorney, you could also begin to make financial preparations and begin to get your assets in order and protect your community assets. Waiting to file until you are financially prepared is a great way to ensure that your assets are protected and that you are ready for the coming process. Being prepared may also give you slightly more control over the process and the case, largely by having the ability to present your argument first at trial.

Cons of Filing First

A major drawback when it comes to filing for divorce before your spouse is that you will most likely end up paying more to file and in legal fees. When filing first, you are the one who must serve the complaint to your spouse, which costs money. You are also the first one who must state demands for the conditions of the divorce. This could potentially give your spouse the chance to rebuttal them and counterattack.

Let an Attorney Help You File for Divorce First

Being the one to file for divorce means that you will not be surprised by suddenly being served with papers. In some cases, one spouse has no idea that the other wants a divorce. While you may be taking your spouse by surprise, you will not be blindsided by the petition. By giving yourself the time to mentally prepare for the divorce process as well as get your assets in order, you could be in a better position to handle the process.

By taking the time to think about what you want during the dissolution of your marriage, you may be able to fight for those goals more effectively. To start your divorce process and to file the complaint first, get in touch with a dedicated New Jersey divorce lawyer to get the legal counsel you need. Call today.

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