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Does it matter who files for divorce first?

Filing for divorce can be a very emotional decision for many spouses to make. While it is not an easy decision to make, many people wonder if it matters who files for divorce first.

A person should not be the first one to file for divorce just out of spite. There are several considerations to make before filing for divorce, including the financial and legal benefits of being the first one to file for divorce.

What are the financial benefits of filing for divorce first? One reason to be the first one to file for divorce is having a divorce plan in place before the divorce is filed. The divorce plan should include meeting with your own divorce attorney to discuss the financial implications of divorce and what documents to have ready before filing and before the divorce negotiations begin.

Another benefit of filing first is being able to get your own credit card in your name as well as plan for the expenses involved in getting divorced. It is also helpful to create a financial plan and budget for life after the divorce. In addition, one of the main benefits of filing for divorce first is how it can deter your spouse from hiding assets during the divorce process.

There are also legal benefits of filing for divorce first, which include being able to decide where the jurisdiction where the divorce will be decided. The person who files for the divorce first is often the first party to present his or her case during the divorce, which can be helpful in several ways. One way is being able to explain certain factors that may help you receive more in the divorce settlement.

Every divorce case is different and people thinking about filing for divorce should consult a divorce attorney to discuss their specific case and see if they should be the first on to file for divorce.

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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