Residents of Illinois whose marriages are on shaky ground may wonder if they should be the first to file for divorce and if there are benefits to doing so. There are some benefits associated with being the first to file for divorce, and most of them have to do with being prepared. If someone’s spouse files first, it does not necessarily mean that they have all the advantages if the other party is prepared as well.
When an individual files for divorce before their partner, they have the ability to choose their legal representation and where their divorce will be adjudicated. Due to laws regarding attorney client confidentiality, a lawyer cannot represent someone in a divorce if their spouse has already consulted with them and shared confidential information. Therefore, filing first allows someone to have their pick of attorneys.
Another benefit of filing first is that individuals are able to determine where a divorce will go through. Each state has its own divorce laws relating to child support, custody, alimony and division of assets. If a couple is already separated, the individual filing will determine where the divorce is adjudicated, meaning they can choose the state with the laws most friendly to their position.
Filing for divorce is a huge step and indicates that a couple’s problems are beyond resolution. The decisions people make regarding their divorce will impact their futures and finances. To be able to make well informed choices, those going through a divorce may benefit from speaking with a divorce lawyer that can explain the process.
Source: Forbes, “What Are The Financial And Legal Advantages Of Being First To File For Divorce?,” Jeff Landers, March 26, 2013