October 23, 2013

Does it matter who files first for divorce?

Does it matter who files first for divorce in Michigan?

The question, “does it matter who files first?”  There is both a legal and emotional answer to this question.

Earlier this year, I wrote an article on the emotional component of a divorce.  See:  https://www.thedivorceguy.com/the-emotional-divorce/.   One question always seems to have an emotional component.  Does it matter who files first?

From a legal perspective, it generally does not matter who files for divorce first.  However, it can.  Typically, it matters who files for divorce first if there are serious concerns that your spouse may liquidate the marital estate or leave with the children.  Filing first creates an opportunity to present the court with various orders before your spouse is notified of the Michigan divorce proceedings.  The orders are called Ex Parte, which means literally, “on one side only”.  These orders typically require a spouse to maintain the financial status quo, prohibit the liquidation the marital estate and obtaining jurisdiction over the children, preventing a parent from leaving without court permission.  There is always a risk that your spouse may do something irresponsible in response to a Michigan divorce filing.  The Ex Parte Orders  act as a deterrent as violating an order can have severe consequences.

From an emotional perspective, it can matter who files for divorce first.  Unlike the legal path, the emotional Michigan divorce path is subjective.  Anger, jealousy and other deep emotional triggers are intertwined with a divorce and filing first can be empowering by acting in advance of the expected difficulties associated with divorce.

Of course, we are here to help you navigate this journey by focusing on your goals.


By:  Daniel Findling

The Divorce Guy, Michigan Divorce Attorneys and Specialists




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