Should I be the first to file for divorce?

Taking action to file for divorce takes courage, bravery and conviction. There's never a right time to file for a divorce, but if you file before you are ready, you may have regrets in the future, and wonder whether you could have worked harder to mend your marriage.

If you are currently going through a tough time in your marriage, you should at least make sure that you are prepared to file for divorce when the time is right. The following are some reasons why it can be advantageous to be the one to file for divorce.

You will be emotionally prepared

Being served with divorce papers when you don't expect it can be a traumatic experience. Being the first to file for divorce can mean that you will be the one in control, and you'll have already prepared yourself emotionally for the process.

You will have the opportunity to line up your divorce team

Knowing about the likely timeline for your divorce will enable you to talk to lawyers and line up your divorce team, giving you a head-start.

You'll be able to gather all documentation

There's a huge amount of documentation that you will need to gather when going through a divorce. Therefore, gathering financial statements and other documents before your spouse has a chance to hide them will mean that you'll have the opportunity to go through a fair divorce proceeding.

You may be able to choose which state to divorce in

If you and your spouse are living in different states, you may be able to choose which state to file in. You'll be able to make a strategic choice based on which state law you consider to be favorable.

You'll be able to prepare financially

You may want to start saving money or create a personal account before filing for divorce. This will enable you to have control over your finances, no matter how your spouse reacts to the divorce filing. Being the one to file may also prevent your spouse from hiding assets.

If you feel ready to take action to file for divorce, you should consider the timeline that you would like to follow. It's a good idea to plan your divorce in detail before taking action to file.

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