Should I file for divorce first?

Published May 9, 2019
Should I file for divorce first?

Is there an advantage if I file for divorce first?  Overall, a court does not treat one spouse differently just because he or she filed for divorce first.  Courts are unbiased and impartial.  So, from that perspective, there really isn’t an advantage to filing the divorce petition first. 

However, as a practical matter, the spouse who filed for divorce first may have been planning it for some time and the other spouse might be very surprised.  The other spouse may not have even known that the divorce was even coming. 

I have met with hundreds if not thousands of people over the years in my practice and there are common questions asked of me during my initial meetings and consultations.  How long will the divorce process last?  How much am I going to have to pay in attorney fees?  Do I need to get a job and how will getting a job impact what I receive in spousal support or child support?  For more information on commonly asked questions and the answers to those questions, check out the blog posts on this site.