When it comes to filing for divorce, there may be a number of advantages to being the first to file. While each marriage (and divorce) is unique and has its own circumstances, there are certain aspects of the process that hold true for everyone. When it seems likely that divorce is on the horizon, making legal preparations can mean a world of difference in the eventual outcome of a divorce proceeding.
One of the advantages you would have involves establishing jurisdiction. The divorce will be decided in the jurisdiction of filing, which can be important if you and your spouse have already separated or divide time between two counties or states. The rules can be different in varying jurisdictions, so if there is an option to file in multiple locations, it is important to fully research which jurisdiction would be the most beneficial to your particular scenario. If you have concerns about any jurisdictions issues, your attorney will know what is best for your situation.
Another advantage is simply the benefits of having time to prepare. Once the decision to file for divorce has been made, the filing spouse has the time needed to gather financial documentation, save money to cover the legal costs, and make preparations for moving or increased child care needs. Once the process begins, many spouses behave in ways that are uncharacteristically combative, and it can be difficult to get information once the lines in the sand have been drawn, so it is beneficial to gather documents early on.
For most, the decision to file for divorce is the hardest part of the entire process. By being the first to file, a spouse can gain the advantage in terms of jurisdiction and planning. While the process may feel daunting, it is a finite experience, and it is essential to remember that there is a new life waiting on the other side of the hurdles ahead.