Does filing first for divorce confer any benefits?

Lake Toback Attorneys

The arrival of divorce papers is sometimes a surprise, but both parties often see it coming in advance. A Forbes contributor and professional divorce financial analyst states that, in some cases, it may be to one partner’s benefit to file first. In many marriages, one partner works and oversees financial affairs, and this can place the other partner at a serious disadvantage in negotiations and even open them up to fraud. Filing first requires advance preparation that can prevent this disadvantage and offer other benefits as well.

From a legal standpoint, the first spouse to file generally has more control over the jurisdiction. This can make a big difference as laws governing child custody, property division and other important aspects of divorce vary significantly between states. Some states, for instance, enforce an automatic temporary restraining order on marital assets pending property division.

In financial terms, the preparation for filing is what confers the greatest advantage. A supported partner can take the time to gather all financial and legal documents related to retirement accounts, businesses, tax returns, real estate and other assets. They can also set aside the funds to begin hiring a professional divorce team that should include an attorney, therapist and vocational expert as well as a divorce financial analyst in a high asset divorce. Beyond these reasons, a spouse may choose to file first in order to vindicate his or her emotions, such as a feeling of betrayal.

Filing first for divorce isn’t always the best course of action. If the end of a marriage seems likely, however, an Illinois divorce attorney may be able to help by providing options and forming a strategy.

Source: Forbes, “What Are The Financial And Legal Advantages Of Being First To File For Divorce?,” Jeff Landers, March 26, 2013

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Does filing first for divorce confer any benefits?