When spouses can no longer get along, they often opt for divorce. And it is a chaotic process that could get ugly and change the course of any family.
Some divorce processes are amicable and effortless, while others are difficult. As such, when opting for a divorce, you must consider every possibility. That is because the messy process has a wide range of effects on affected parties, especially children.
When thinking of a divorce, a spouse may be wondering, “does the part that first files for a divorce matter? Although there is no clear answer to this thought, it is a valid question. There are a few divorce cases where the petitioner matters.
This article is a crash course on family law and divorce proceedings.
Benefits of Divorce Case Filing
If you are in a complicated divorce process, getting legal counsel should be a top priority. An experienced family law attorney can determine the best course of the divorce case. As a family lawyer, he is knowledgeable about divorce as well.
The spouse who first files a divorce case is often the “bad guy.” Yet, they stand to gain the following benefits:
1. Having Control of the Divorce Proceedings
The petitioning spouse often controls the pace of the court proceedings. When you file first, you can choose when to begin the divorce process. Your spouse has to follow the court’s schedule. The flexible time places you at an advantage.
You will be able to plan every move during the divorce. As such, initiating the divorce process gives you ample time to make clear decisions. These decisions include sorting assets and liabilities and asset allocation.
2. Making the Right First Impression
As the plaintiff, you can state the reason for divorce in court. The court lets you have the first word. So you can make a great first impression. This helps you to garner the attention and sympathy of the entire court. It is crucial to make valid arguments, as it will influence the court’s view of your divorce case.
Divorce is a case under family law. A family law attorney is biased toward family and its health after a divorce. So, the jury needs to hear that you are not selfish and that the divorce is best for your family.
In making this argument, it would help to present documents and evidence to back your statements. Such documents include estate planning documents, retirement plans, and records of assets and liabilities.
Such documents prove that the divorce case filing is a well-thought move.
3. Filing for Temporary Orders
Your spouse may empty your bank account or do worse things if you do not have a protective order. Filing for divorce first allows you to file for temporary orders too. These orders include restraining and protective orders.
These give you temporary immunity until the court passes the final judgment. Having these orders help you feel safe in a complicated divorce.
4. Asking for Help
When you file for divorce, it is easier to get proper help. The family law attorney will guide you to gain valuable documents to help with the divorce proceedings. They will also show you to the appropriate professionals. Such professionals include a retirement planner and an estate planning lawyer.
These professionals help you evaluate your assets and liabilities and develop a retirement plan. You must present estate planning documents and a will to the court. The court will use these documents in asset allocation and making judgments.
4. You Can Charge Fault
As the first to file for divorce, you can charge your partner with a fault. If the court finds the charges true, your claims will positively impact their judgment.
Charging your partner with fault complicates the divorce process. Yet, if the charges prove true, they influence the court ruling. So, you will get the best deal on child custody and asset allocation.
The Divorce Protocol
The divorce protocol for every state differs. Yet, there are a few standard procedures in all states. Some steps you might take include:
Get a Family Divorce Attorney
Divorce is a sensitive subject. So, when looking for a family lawyer, they should have professional experience. You must choose a family divorce attorney with whom you can trust and be honest. This is because you will have to share uncomfortable details with your lawyer. They must be familiar with the state’s family law and divorce rules.
You can interview a potential divorce attorney. Make sure you are choosing the best attorney for your case. They can also help you with other legal cases in the future.
Talk the Divorce through with Your Attorney
The family divorce attorney discusses the terms of divorce with you. You must be honest with the information you provide to the lawyer. The attorney discusses other options with you, including an amicable settlement.
This interview helps you to understand the terms of a divorce proceeding. If you do not want a divorce, you can apply for a legal separation or a marriage annulment.
Make Plans for Your Children and Property
If you want to proceed with the divorce, you must arrange for life after the divorce. You may need to contact an attorney with experience in estate planning law. This lawyer will help collate estate planning documents and estimate the cost. These documents are crucial in asset allocation.
They will ease divorce settlement procedures. You might also need to make a will. The estate planning attorney can handle estate planning vs will. This assures you that your children will be okay after the divorce.
Apply for a Divorce
You can apply for a divorce at the local court or from your state’s government website. Fill in the accurate information on the form and file a divorce case. In most states, your partner has 14 days to respond to your divorce petition. The divorce process often takes between five and six months.
Divorcing your partner is a messy experience. It comes with varying emotions and downtimes. In all, the process is draining. Most people would rather stay in bad marriages than file for a divorce and go through the process. Yet, who files for divorce first does not matter if the marriage is not working.
Although there are a few benefits to filing for divorce, your sanity and well-being matter most in the divorce process. So, they should be your utmost focus.