If your relationship is on the rocks you may wonder if it is important to be the first to file for divorce?
Is it important to be the first to file for divorce?
Every divorce has an emotional and legal component. The legal component involves the division of assets, liabilities, support and concerns regarding the children. The emotional component involves feelings.
From an emotional perspective, being the first to file for divorce has value for many. After all, under most circumstances being pro-active is more empowering than being re-active. For other’s allowing your spouse to file for divorce first may be best from an emotional perspective.
In most cases, it does not matter who files for divorce first from a legal perspective. However, there are circumstances where filing for divorce first can have an impact on a divorce. For example, if you have concerns your spouse may sell or transfer assets during the divorce process, he/she can obtain an ex parte (without the other party) order prohibiting your spouse from doing so, freezing bank accounts and providing other relief.
Similarly, if you have concerns that your spouse may refuse to pay bills or deny you access to marital funds during the divorce process, by filing first, you can obtain an order requiring your spouse to continue to pay bills and provide you access to funds.
In cases involving a child(ren), you may have concerns regarding the other parent (e.g. taking the child out of the country, exposing the child to a potentially dangerous situation (e.g. drunk driving). If you are the first to file divorce, you can obtain an order addressing the concerns before the other party is provided a copy of the documents.
If you are not the first to file, the same protections can be requested from the court, however, it may take some time, so if time is of the essence, being the first to file for divorce may be in your best interest.
About Findling Law
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I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for over two decades. The Oakland County Divorce attorneys at Findling Law practice statewide. We share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles. We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances.That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm. We want to help you manage your situation. Allow our exceptional legal team to help you navigate the change in your life, without compromising principles.
By: Daniel Findling