As a Los Angeles divorce firm, we have seen our share of clients who were blindsided when their spouses filed for divorce. Some knew that it was a matter of time, while others knew there were issues, but thought they were fixable.
Whatever a couple’s circumstances, divorce can come as quite a shock and no one likes to be on the receiving end of a divorce filing.
More often than not, the spouses have a notion that divorce is a possibility. Usually, both spouses have at least thought about it, if not seriously entertained the idea. Quite frequently, at least one spouse has privately considered consulting with a divorce attorney.
If the above describes you and your marriage, you may be wondering if there is any advantage to being the one that files for divorce before your spouse. That is a very good question, and below, we will explore the legitimate reasons for filing for divorce first.
Financial & Legal Benefits of Filing First
While we’re not recommending that you race to the courthouse to file for divorce out of spite, there are some practical reasons why it makes sense to file first, such as:
- You have time to assemble a qualified divorce team so you are able to achieve the best possible divorce settlement and child custody arrangement (where applicable).
- You have the opportunity to gather all the divorce documents before these items mysteriously go missing.
- You can ensure that you have access to credit and cash before you file for divorce.
- If you do not have a credit card in your own name, you have time to get one. You need this!
- If you file divorce first, you can prevent your spouse from having time to hide assets.
- Filing for divorce first allows you to decide which jurisdiction it will be filed in (important if you’re already separated and living in a different city or state).
- You learn about the laws and gain insight into the divorce process.
- You can be proactive instead of having to be “reactive.”
To learn more about the advantages of filing for divorce first, contact our firm to schedule a free consultation with an experienced member of our legal team.