Obtaining and filing your divorce paperwork first can sometimes be advantageous for you. One advantage is that you get a sense of moving forward out of a bad situation. The advantages extend beyond that into legal benefits. If you are unsure whether or not you should file first or wait for your spouse to file, here are some benefits you can get from filing first.
You Have Time to Collect Important Documents
Once you file for divorce, collecting documents that you need from your spouse could prove difficult. For instance, if you plan to ask for alimony or child support, you need to know what he or she is earning. If your spouse is unwilling to share the documentation, your divorce could be delayed while measures are taken to gather information.
However, if you file first, you have a chance to collect all the documents you need. If your spouse is unaware that you plan to file for divorce, he or she might be more willing to share information. You also still have access to online accounts, such as your online checking accounts. Chances are, when you file, your spouse is going to change his or her passwords.
You Have a Say in Which State the Case Is Reviewed
If you and your spouse have lived in more than one state equally over the course of your marriage, it is possible that you could file for divorce in the state of your choice. Which state you file in is important. Some states have laws that might be more favorable to you when it comes to the division of your assets, alimony, and child support. You have the chance to review the laws in each state and make a judgment call as to where to file your paperwork.
You Can Establish an End Date
In some states, the end date for a marriage is important. Once you file the paperwork, you might be required to wait a period of time before the court will hold a hearing to finalize your divorce. The longer you put off the filing, the further away the finalized date is.
Establishing an end date is also important because it helps to determine which debts and assets would be considered marital. For instance, if your spouse buys a car after you have filed your divorce paperwork with the court, you might not be held responsible for that debt because you had already taken the steps to divorce him or her.