Does it matter who files for divorce first?

Some spouses in Washington are unhappy in their marriage but hesitant to file for divorce because they are unaware of how to proceed. However, some benefits come with being the first to file the divorce. Here are some benefits.

Control and timing

If you are the first to file for divorce, you gain slight control over the case. Moreover, you can also decide on cancelling the case if your spouse delays in answering the complaint. Once you file the claim, you become the plaintiff, and if the case goes to trial, you get to present your case first.

Further, you get to determine the timing of the divorce. You should avoid unethical moves that can be used against you. Once you file for divorce, your spouse should respond to the filed papers in 20 days. A default divorce is offered when your spouse fails to respond. However, default divorces are often reset.

Preparation and choosing the state

Filing for divorce first gives you a chance to prepare. Unlike your spouse, you’ll have more than 20 days to get your financial records, evidence and account numbers in order. You’ll be able to consider your financial status during this time.

If you live in different states with your ex-partner and you file for divorce first, you will determine the jurisdiction of the proceedings. Different states have different laws on alimony. However, the court may dismiss the proceeding if the children have not stayed in the state for more than six months.

Many people fear filing for divorce first. It is a decision that you need to make when you have all the information required. If you want to file for a divorce, an attorney may help you understand the process and approach it with a beneficial strategy.