When people marry, they pledge to be together forever. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. No one likes the idea of going through a divorce, but some circumstances make it nearly impossible for people to stay with each other. The decision to end a marriage, however, is almost always an emotional and legally complicated matter. Therefore, we have put together answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about divorce.
Does It Matters Who Files First in a Divorce Case?
In divorce cases, both parties usually feel that the relationship is damaged beyond repair. For this reason, it is not uncommon for both spouses to have considered dissolving the marriage privately. And one of the most common questions that results from such considerations is whether it matters who files for the divorce first. While the answer is not simple, most family laws experts believe that it does matter. Although one shouldn’t rush to end something as important as a marriage, there are some reasons why it may be advantageous to be the first one to file.
It Can Put You in a Stronger Bargaining Position
For instance, the party who starts the divorce by filing first has usually already consulted an attorney and gathered the relevant paperwork. As a result, the other spouse is now playing catch up and may have less of an edge at the bargaining table.
You Can Prepare for a Divorce Financially
Additionally, there can be financial advantages to being the first one to file. Because the process is not cheap, it helps to be able to put money aside for the many expenses that accompany a divorce. Having your finances in order will also put you in a much better negotiating position. Even if you cannot save money beforehand, you can always help yourself by securing a line of credit before proceedings commence.
You Can Also Get an ATRO If You are Filing First
Another action to consider regarding your finances in a divorce is an Automatic Temporary Restraining Order (ATRO). Although most people think of a restraining order as a way to prevent physical violence, an ATRO is actually used for blocking financial movement in joint accounts, keeping spouses from lending or borrowing against marital property, and altering terms on insurance, investment, and retirement policies. By filing first, you can work with an attorney to prepare an ATRO, so it is ready to be filed along with your divorce.
What Is a Divorce Going to Cost Me?
The amount a divorce will cost depends on how complicated your case is and the behavior of your spouse. If he or she becomes uncooperative, then costs can start to escalate. It will also be more expensive if your case involves other matters such as child support and child custody. In other words, it all boils down to how complex your case becomes. If there are lots of details and the other side is inclined to argue over the issues, you should expect higher attorney fees.
Do I Really Need to Hire a Lawyer?
While many people consider this option to save on attorney fees, it is usually not the most prudent choice. The only way you can take full advantage of every protection afforded to you under the law is to hire an experienced divorce lawyer. Internet research and friends’ advice is almost always incomplete and usually not reliable enough for a court of law. Without the services of an attorney, you will rarely get the full picture of what to expect during a divorce proceeding.
If you are considering divorcing, you should discuss your situation with a lawyer who can guide you through every step of the process. A knowledgeable family law attorney will bring their years of experience and effective strategies to bear when ironing out the details of your divorce in order to achieve a fair and equitable resolution.