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Why You Should File First In A Divorce (And Why You Should Not)

Most couples know that their marriage is failing. One or both spouses are probably considering filing for a divorce. There are several reasons why you should file first in a divorce and there are also reasons why might want to wait for your spouse to file.

The following are the reasons why you should file first in a divorce.

  1. Preparation: If you are thinking of getting a divorce, then this is also the time to start planning for the divorce. This is the time to start seeking out an attorney. This is the time to start gathering your financial documents. This is the time to consider the financial implications of the divorce. By filing first, you probably have had the opportunity and time to prepare for the divorce.
  2. Reduces the chance of being “kicked out of the house”: If you file first, this will reduce the chance that you will be “kicked out of the house” or removed from the house due to a false allegation of domestic violence. Unfortunately and unethically, some spouses prior to a divorce being filed will file for an Order of Protection based on false allegations. However, if a divorce has been filed prior to an Order of Protection, it is typically harder to be removed from the marital home due to a false allegation of domestic violence.
  3. Choice of County: Although it is not that common, if the two spouses are not living together and they are living in different counties, then you get to choose which county to file in. You might want to file in a different county based on what your attorney has informed you about how cases are typically handled in that county.
  4. You set the “cut-off” date: Once a divorce is filed, then typically that sets the cut-off date for the acquisition of marital assets and also the acquisition of marital debts. It also sets the cut-off date for retirement assets.

Now, here are some reasons why you might want to wait and let your spouse file first.

  1. Easier to get an Order of Protection Before a Divorce is started. If there is domestic violence, it may be easier to obtain an Order of Protection before you file for a divorce.
  2. You get to delay the “cut off” date: Although, typically it is better to have an earlier cut-off date than a later one, sometimes it is beneficial to delay the cut-off date. By delaying filing for a divorce, you delay the actual cut-off date.
  3. Save on Court fees: The person who files first has to pay the first filing fee (currently $210.00), that person may also have to pay the bulk of the rest of the court fees, which can range from about $400 to many thousands.

If you are unsure of whether or not to file first in your divorce, then contact David Badanes, Esq. today. David Badanes, Esq has the experience to guide you in your divorce.

If you need an experienced divorce attorney then call David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. today at 631-239-1702 or email at david@dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and Uniondale, Nassau County.

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