What Happens if My Spouse Files For Divorce First?

Many spouses who are seeking a divorce want to know if it matters who files first. In short, the answer is yes, in many cases, the individual who files first will have certain aspects of divorce working in their favor. If you are ready to file, please read on to learn more about the divorce process and how we can help you going forward:

How does who files first impact the outcome of a divorce?

The primary benefit of filing first is the fact that you give yourself the ability to prepare. Divorce is an in-depth, document-heavy process, and if you do not allow sufficient time to prepare, it can become all the more overwhelming. By filing first, you would have already hired an experienced attorney you know you can trust, established a budget for your future as a single individual, and filled out all the necessary legal paperwork and documentation to proceed.

What’s more, divorces are generally handled in the jurisdiction in which they are filed. Rather simply, this means that if your spouse is currently living in another state and files for divorce before you do, you may have to travel, perhaps several times, to his or her state just to endure divorce proceedings. We understand you have a life to live, with your own personal obligations, and traveling out-of-state for something dreary as divorce proceedings is probably the last thing you want to do. Fortunately, very often, you can prevent the chaotic back-and-forth simply by filing first.

Will I lose money or assets if I do not file first?

While the answer is no, not necessarily, there are certain preventative measures you can take if you do choose to file first. For example, before you file, you can hire a financial analyst to create a budget going forward as a single person so you are confident with regards to your financial situation going into the divorce. Additionally, you can secure a line of credit, and though many people feel awkward about doing it, you can also file a temporary restraining order against your spouse. When you file a TRO, you halt all activity on your marital assets, thereby preventing your spouse from borrowing, lending or transferring money. Additionally, this will prohibit your spouse from modifying retirement terms, investments, or insurance policies until your divorce is finalized in court.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

Before taking legal action, it is important to discuss your legal situation with an experienced attorney. Divorce means a significant change in your life, which is why you need a knowledgeable and compassionate attorney who can help make the transition go as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. If you need a knowledgeable attorney, please do not hesitate to contact The Radol Law Firm to discuss any divorce and family law matters you may be facing.