If you have decided to file for divorce, you likely have a number of questions. Even when spouses both decide to end their relationship, there are some benefits provided by filing a petition to divorce first

This article reviews not only some of the advantages, but also disadvantages involved with filing first in a divorce.

The Advantages of Filing First in a Divorce

Some of the advantages that can be realized by filing for a divorce first include the following:

  • Additional time to prepare: If you are the spouse who files for divorce first, you do not need to feel constrained by a timeline. This means that it is often easier to gather financial documentation and other critical paperwork before the relationship with your soon-to-be former spouse becomes strained. 
  • Deciding which jurisdiction. To qualify to file for a divorce in Georgia, you or your spouse must live in the state for no less than six months. By submitting a petition for a divorce first, you will have the option of deciding whether to file in the location where either you or your former spouse lives. 
  • Reduced financial vulnerability. Once you file for divorce, you can avoid responsibility for debts that were accumulated by your former spouse after this date. You also can protect any assets that you earned after this date.

Besides these particular advantage, some people who file for divorce first discover that this process provides them with emotional closure on an unhappy period of their lives. By taking the first steps to divorce a spouse, you might even begin to experience increased confidence and security in what your future holds. 

The Downside to Filing for Divorce First

Despite the numerous advantages to filing for divorce first, there are also a number of reasons why you might want to think twice before doing so. Some of the disadvantages to being first to pursue this option include:

  • Your spouse learns about your demand. As part of a petition for divorce, many people include a list of their wishes, which will be seen by the other party at the time that the petition is served. By learning what you want first, your former spouse might be able to create a strong counter-response.
  • Sometimes pay more fees. A person who petitions for divorce first might be required to pay the filing fees. This means that you might pay more overall expenses than your former spouse to end the marriage.
  • A final step. If you and your spouse have been discussing divorce, filing the actual paperwork signifies that your marriage is over. This decision is not to be made lightly. 

Speak with an Experienced Family Law AttorneyAt Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C., we understand the numerous complications that a divorce can create. That is why we focus on helping people successfully navigate the divorce process. Contact our law office today to schedule a free initial consultation.