Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First: 7 Real Advantages

When it comes to getting a divorce, does it matter who files for divorce first? Yes, filing for divorce for the first time has several advantages. There is a lot of debate surrounding who should file for divorce first – the husband or the wife. Some people believe that it makes a difference, while others don’t think it matters at all. 

This can have a significant impact on the outcome of your divorce. In this blog post, I will first discuss the advantages of filing for divorce.

does it matter who files for divorce first

Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First: 7 Real Advantages

Some people might think that the person who files for divorce is the one who is at fault or is the one who is less committed to the marriage. However, this isn’t always the case. Filing for divorce first can offer many advantages.

#1. You will have time to prepare and gather evidence:

If you are the one who files for divorce, then you will have more time to prepare your case and gather evidence. This is because you will know about the divorce before your spouse does. You can use this time to get your financial affairs in order and to prepare for child custody arrangements. You can also start gathering evidence that may be used in your divorce case.

This can be helpful if you are trying to prove that your spouse is at fault for the divorce. It can also be helpful if you are trying to get a more favourable outcome in the divorce.

If you wait for your spouse to file for divorce, you may not have as much time to prepare. This can put you at a disadvantage in the divorce case.

#2. You will get an advantageous financial position:

Filing for divorce first can also give you an advantageous financial position. This is because you will be the one who gets to decide how to divide the assets and debts of the marriage. You can also choose to keep the family home if you want.

If you file for divorce before your spouse, you will likely have a better financial outcome. This is because you will be the one who gets to decide how to divide up your assets and debts.

But if you wait for your spouse’s first move, you might not get as much money as you need, so it’s best to file for spousal support or child support if necessary. Even if you do late, your partner could hide assets or income, which would leave you at a disadvantage.

#3. You can choose the court’s location:

You can also choose the court’s location when you file for divorce. This can be helpful if you want to file in a more favorable jurisdiction, and it will be convenient for you to attend the required divorce hearing. For example, if you live in a state with community property laws, it may be advantageous to file for divorce in that state.

If you have children, you might want to choose a location closer to their school or daycare, so they don’t have to travel too far for visitation.

#4. You may be able to get a better settlement from your spouse:

Your spouse may be more amenable to a fair settlement offer if you initiate the divorce process. That’s because they’d rather not deal with the time and money required to go to court.

Your spouse might also be worried that you will take them for everything they’re worth if they don’t agree to a fair settlement. So, they might be more likely to give you what you want to avoid a lengthy and costly court battle.

However, your spouse may be less amenable to compromise if you force them to file for divorce first. They can feel confident that they can take advantage of you because of this.

#5. You can negotiate a better settlement agreement:

Divorce filing early puts you in a stronger position to negotiate a settlement with your husband. This is because your partner is more likely to be amenable to payment if there is a chance of avoiding a legal battle.

You can use this opportunity to get what you want out of the divorce, such as custody of your children, a more significant share of the assets, or more spousal support.

However, if you put off filing for divorce, your spouse may be less receptive to compromise out of a sense of entitlement.

#6. You maintain control over the outcome of your divorce:

The divorce process can be managed more effectively, and the outcome can be maintained by you so far if you initiate it. That is because you have the power to determine the division of property, the terms of child custody and visitation, and the need for or award of spousal support.

Your spouse might not be happy with your decisions, but they will have a more challenging time overturning them in court if you initiate the divorce.

On the other hand, if your spouse files for divorce first, they will be in control of these decisions, and you might not like the outcome.

#7. Less waiting period:

In most cases, the spouse who initiates the divorce process will have to wait a shorter period until the divorce is finalised. Many states require a six-month waiting period between filing the divorce petition and the divorce becoming final.

Further, it’s your life, and you should be the one who decides when it’s time to move on. If you’re confident that divorce is the right decision, there’s no reason to wait for your spouse to come to that conclusion.

On the other hand, if you wait for your spouse to file, you will have to wait an additional six months. So, if you want to get divorced as quickly as possible, it’s best to file first.

3 Disadvantages of Filing for Divorce First

While there are some advantages to filing for divorce first, there are also some disadvantages that you should be aware of. These include:

#1. You could end up paying more in legal fees:

If you file for divorce first, you might pay more legal fees than your spouse. That’s because you will be the one who has to pay for your attorney, as well as any filing fees.

Your spouse might also incur legal fees if they hire an attorney to represent them during the divorce process. However, they will likely be less than what you would have to pay. In addition, if you go to court, you might have to pay more in court costs than your spouse.

#2. Your spouse will be altered about your demand:

If you initiate divorce proceedings, your spouse will know your intention to end the marriage. This could make it harder to reach an amicable resolution outside of court.

Your spouse can also use this opportunity to take advantage of you financially. They might try to hide assets or income, so they don’t have to give you as much in the divorce.

#3. You may be marked as a bad co-parent:

If you have children, filing for divorce first could make it harder for you to get joint custody. The court will examine each parent’s ability to co-parent and work together.

And if you’re seen as the one who initiated the divorce, it might be harder to prove that you can work with your ex. And the court could award custody to the other parent as a result.

You should also be aware that if you’re seeking spousal support, the court may view you as more capable of supporting yourself. So, you might not get as much financial assistance from your spouse after the divorce.

Before you decide to file for divorce, you must first weigh all the pros and cons of filing for divorce.

Does it matter who files first in divorce? If you want to learn more, watch this video:

FAQs on Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First

Should I file for divorce or let him?

It depends on your situation. There are a few things to consider when deciding who should file for divorce first. If you have children, it may be best to file first so you can request custody and child support in the initial paperwork.

If you anticipate a contentious divorce, filing first may also give you a strategic advantage in legal proceedings. However, if your divorce is likely relatively amicable, it may not make much difference who files first.

Ultimately, if you can’t decide who should initiate divorce first, consult with a divorce attorney to discuss your situation and decide what will work best for you.

Should you file for divorce first or jointly?

Whether to file for divorce first or jointly can be difficult, and both options have pros and cons.

Filing first may give you an advantage in negotiations, as you will have the opportunity to set the divorce terms. However, it can also make the process more adversarial, as your spouse may feel that you are trying to take control.

Jointly filing for divorce may help to keep the process amicable, as it shows that you are both committed to ending the marriage. However, it can also be more expensive, as you will need to pay for two attorneys.

Whether to file for divorce first or jointly should be based on your specific circumstances. Joint filing may be the best option if you can reach an agreement with your spouse.

However, if you anticipate a battle over the divorce terms, filing first may give you a better chance of getting what you want.

What do you need to know about filing for a divorce?

For many couples, the decision to file for divorce is difficult. There are several important factors to consider before making this decision, including the divorce’s potential financial and emotional impact.

If you are considering filing for divorce, consult an experienced family law attorney who can help you understand the process and what to expect.

The first step in filing for divorce is to file a petition with the court. This petition must state the grounds on which the divorce is being sought, such as irreconcilable differences or adultery.

Once the petition is filed, the other spouse will be served with notice of the divorce proceedings. The next step is to file a financial disclosure form, which provides information about each spouse’s income, assets, and debts.

After these documents are filed, the court will set a date for a hearing. At the hearing, both spouses will have an opportunity to present their case and reach a settlement agreement.

If an agreement cannot be reached, the court will issue a divorce decree to finalise the divorce.

Who is most likely to file for divorce?

When it comes to divorce, there is no single profile of the typical divorcing couple. However, some factors can make a marriage more likely to divorce.

One such factor is age. Couples who marry young are more likely to divorce than those who wait until they are older. This is likely because young couples are less mature and unable to handle marriage’s challenges.

Another factor that can increase the likelihood of divorce is infidelity. Trust is a crucial component of any marriage, and when that trust is broken, it can be complicated to repair the damage.

In addition, couples who have different religious beliefs are also more likely to divorce. This is because religion often plays a central role in a couple’s shared values and ideas, and when those values are not aligned, it can create tension and conflict.

Finally, couples who have experienced financial stress are also more likely to divorce. Money problems can put a strain on even the strongest of relationships and often lead to feelings of resentment and frustration.

While there is no sure way to prevent divorce, understanding these risk factors can help couples identify potential problems in their marriage and take steps to address them.

If I file for divorce first, do I get custody?

There is no guaranteed outcome regarding child custody arrangements in the United States following a divorce. Instead, the best interests of the child are always taken into consideration. This means that courts will look at various factors when making a custody determination, such as the child’s age, the parent’s work schedule, and the child’s relationship with each parent.

While there is no guarantee that filing for divorce first will result in custody, remember that every case is unique. Therefore, it is best to discuss your particular situation with an attorney.

Just as it doesn’t matter what you wear to court, it doesn’t matter who filed for divorce first in the child custody decision.


Though there are some disadvantages to filing for divorce, the advantages often outweigh them. If you’re confident that divorce is the right decision, don’t wait for your spouse to come to that conclusion – file for divorce yourself.

You will be in control of the decisions made during the process, and you can move forward with a more positive outlook knowing that you made a choice yourself.

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