One of the most common questions our divorce attorneys are asked is whether it matters who files first in divorce. Often, this question comes from spouses who are unsure whether they want to get divorced. They contact our firm — Neal Ashmore Family Law Group — after learning about a spouse’s affair or after a spouse tells them that they want to get divorced. Sometimes they are the ones considering divorce and haven’t told their spouses yet.
Regardless of whether you want to get divorced, filing first in a divorce can increase your chances for a good outcome.
Our lawyers are committed to helping individuals in Lewisville and throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area save money, time and anguish while working through the divorce process.
Advantages to Filing First
We know it can seem counterintuitive to file first if you are not certain that you want to get divorced, but there are four main reasons that it can be advantageous.
- You get to tell your story first. When you file first, you get to tell your story first — everywhere from the temporary hearings to mediation to the final trial. Studies show that people remember the first and last things they hear, which includes hearing your side of the story.
- You get the last say. When you file first, you get to leave the judge, jury or mediator with a lasting impression. Like we mentioned in the first point, people remember the first and last things they hear, and you want this to be your story.
- Your assets and relationship with your children are protected. When you file for divorce, court orders can go into effect immediately. Assets are frozen, which prevents one spouse from transferring money or hiding assets in the aftermath of filing for divorce. Filing first becomes an insurance policy that protects what you have now, so you can use it in the future.
- You can bring reconciliation. Filing for divorce doesn’t need to be the end of a marriage. If both parties decide to work on the marriage, you can work toward reconciliation. However, if you decide divorce is the right answer, you are protected.