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Are there benefits to filing for divorce first?

Contemplating ending a marriage is a daunting prospect. It is emotionally stressful and overwhelming; it means changing most aspects of how you live your life. Often, when a couple is facing divorce, both spouses have known it was coming for quite some time. The breakdown of a relationship is often a long journey before dissolution becomes an option. Once a marriage reaches this point, there are many questions about when to file, who should file first and what steps to take before filing for divorce.

There may be some potential advantages to being the first to file for divorce that should be considered before taking that step. There should not be a rush to file first. It is important to know that whoever initiates the divorce proceeding is not the "winner" and that should not be the motivation when deciding when it is the right time to file. However, there may be some legitimate reasons to file first; here are some potential benefits to contemplate.

Time and preparation

The spouse who initiates the divorce often has the advantage of time and preparation. When you know divorce is inevitable you can make sure that you have your finances, paper work and any other information accessible prior to filing. This includes bank statements, tax returns, retirement account statements, pension information, property records, vehicle registrations, trust account documents, wills, debt information and records of any other assets.

This may enable you to have your finances in order to prepare for any fees associated with the divorce and the change in circumstances. It is also a way to protect yourself and your interests if you fear that your spouse would hide assets or other financial information in the event of a divorce.

Negotiation or litigation

There is also the advantage of being able to do your research and hire an experienced divorce attorney prior to filing. It is important to have the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney to evaluate your situation and help you determine the best approach to reaching a divorce settlement. For many soon to be ex-spouses this may mean negotiation through the collaborative approach versus traditional litigation. Collaborative divorce can be a good way to lower costs, promote respect between spouses and control the settlement agreement. An attorney can help you pursue the type of divorce process that will be the best for your interests and your family's future.

If you do pursue litigation, filing first enables you to select the venue for trial and for your attorney to present your argument and evidence first in divorce proceedings, which may provide some benefits. However, it should be noted that litigation may be the best option if a divorce agreement cannot be negotiated.

Emotional benefits

Contemplating ending a marriage can be a heart wrenching experience. For some, making the decision and moving forward can give a feeling of strength and clarity. Taking the initial first steps of filing for divorce and feeling in control of the decision and the process can certainly help improve a person's mindset and should not be discounted as a reason to get started.

If you are considering pursuing divorce, it is important to speak to an experienced family law attorney. At Rieth Antonelli & Raj, we are committed to helping our clients pursue the right type of divorce approach for their family. We believe all parties should be treated with respect and that reaching a divorce agreement can be an amicable process for everyone involved.

Solutions To Family Conflicts

Rieth Antonelli & Raj is a highly regarded boutique law firm focused on the practice of divorce and family law in
the greater Cleveland area. We successfully resolve property division, child custody, spousal support, child support and related problems.

Although we resolve many cases through collaborative negotiations and other out-of-court methods,
our skilled lawyers are fully prepared to protect clients' interests in courtroom proceedings when necessary.

Get A Free Consultation TodayOur firm’s goal is to always achieve an outcome that works for you and your entire family.

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