Is There a Benefit to Filing for Divorce First?
If you are considering filing for divorce first, you probably wonder about the benefits of being the spouse who initiates the divorce process.
Ending a marriage is always a stressful and nerve-racking experience for everyone involved. Filing for divorce is a difficult decision, but for many married couples whose marriage is on the rocks, a divorce is the only choice.
If you are ready to make the first move, you may wonder, “Are there any benefits to filing for divorce first?” If you are considering filing a petition for divorce, talk to our attorneys at Lomurro, Munson, Comer, Brown and Schottland to ensure that you are prepared for what comes next.
What are the Benefits of Filing for Divorce First?
Let’s review the advantages of being the first to file for divorce in New Jersey.
1. More Time to Prepare
Filing for divorce first gives you more time to prepare. Typically, the spouse who initiates the divorce process has already spoken with an attorney and has gathered all the necessary documentation for their divorce case. The petitioner (the spouse who filed the divorce petition) may have even retained the services of a therapist before the filing.
Consulting with an attorney and collecting documentation for divorce takes a lot of time. For this reason, if you are ready to initiate the divorce process, you will have more time to prepare than your spouse.
2. Save Money
Before filing for divorce, you can save money for divorce-related expenses because you know when you will file a petition. Divorces can be expensive. While a divorce may put a strain on your finances regardless of whether you are the petitioner or respondent, filing for divorce first allows you to have more time to prepare financially.
The divorce case is decided in the Superior Court in the county where a petition for divorce is filed. Thus, if you and your spouse live in different counties, your divorce case will be heard in your jurisdiction if you file first. Often, having your divorce case decided in your jurisdiction can be beneficial. However, you should consult with an attorney to determine if you can benefit from filing for divorce in your jurisdiction.
If you and your spouse live in different states, it is even more important to choose your jurisdiction wisely because divorce laws vary greatly from one state to another.
4. Prevent Your Spouse from Hiding Assets
It is not uncommon for spouses to hide assets by transferring property to relatives or friends or opening secret offshore accounts to hide money. However, since you are the one who initiates the divorce process, you can prevent your spouse from hiding assets.
Before filing for divorce, you will have full information regarding your marital assets and finances at the time of filing the petition.
Speak with a Freehold NJ Divorce Attorney
If you are considering filing for divorce first, the decision to file divorce papers can be difficult to make. That is why it is advisable to consult with an attorney who would thoroughly prepare you for what is to come.