Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First?
As with many questions about the divorce process, the answer to "does it matter who files first?" is "yes and no." Legally, it makes little difference which spouse files for divorce first, because in the end, you will both be going through the divorce process, and judges do not base their decision on this criteria. Being the first to file can have its advantages, though.
There is something to say for not being caught off guard. While divorce should not be played like a game of "gotcha," sensing your marriage is in trouble and acting on your intuition could give you the upper hand. Every marriage has its problems, but if your issues seem irreconcilable, divorce may be on the horizon. At this point, it is not a matter of will you be getting divorced, but who will file for divorce. If you find yourself in this situation, it may be wise to act and make the necessary preparations for divorce before your spouse does.
Filing for divorce first can:
- Give you more time to research and choose the best attorney
- Allow you ample time to compile necessary documentation
- Prevent your spouse from concealing assets you could be entitled to
- Allow you to control, to some extent, the jurisdiction in which your case is handled
The spouse that is served divorce papers often feels caught off guard, rushed, and threatened. It is not impossible to secure a favorable result if you are served divorce papers, but there can be advantages to filing first. If you would like to learn more about filing for divorce, as well as your rights and responsibilities, we invite you to contact McKinley Irvin. We can put you in touch with one of our Oregon divorce attorneys for a consultation.