Filing for Divorce First: Understanding Its Financial and Legal Benefits

Divorce is never easy, whether it occurs early or in the later years of your marriage known as a grey divorce. It will take a toll on both parties, emotionally, physically, and financially. But taking the first step might just be for your good in all aspects. Here are the possible pros of filing for divorce first.

The Financial Benefits

Taking that first step means being able to attend the proceedings while you are financially prepared. Filing for divorce first implies you had the time to gather all necessary files, such as wills, bank and investment account statements, social security cards, life insurance policies, property division, and more. Doing so gives you a better picture of your assets and debts, making it easier to divide what should be yours and what belongs to your soon-to-be-ex-wife or -husband.

Marriage Story, a movie on Netflix, perfectly shows the grueling process of divorce, which happened between the main characters, Nicole and Charlie. The former filed for divorce first, giving her the upper hand in the process. The ball was in her court since she was prepared financially, unlike Charlie, who was taken by surprise.

Just like Nicole, it pays to be financially prepared. Data show the national average cost of divorce is about $15,000 per person. Some couples even spend about $30,000 in lawyer’s fees.

The Street reports the costs of divorce vary, depending on several factors, including:

  • The hourly rate of lawyers
  • If the divorce is contested or not
  • The location where you filed the divorce, plus the local filing fees

divorce lawyer

On top of that, you also have to pay for mediation and alimony. Add the cost of child custody lawyers whether you’re from Albuquerque or Las Vegas. These are the costs you will have to face when it comes to divorce.

The Legal Benefits

If you file for divorce first, you can request a Standing Order from the court when you file the petition. Now, what is the Standing Order? It prevents the other party from doing any changes to the beneficiaries on policies. This includes pre-need purchases, like life insurance.

A Standing Order also prevents the other party from making other financial moves, be it changing bank accounts or making any modifications to retirement accounts. Some parties do this in a bid to hide assets, but a Standing Order prevents them from doing so.

Take note that the person who files the petition often presents the case first, should the matter go to a hearing. This may appear as a minor setback for you because going first somehow reveals the strategy you and your lawyer are opting for.

There are many reasons marriages end, from infidelity to physical or emotional abuse. But every beginning has an end. In the case of marriage, divorce defines its finality. To free yourself from the reins of marriage will come with problems. But just like in the game of chess, you have to come up with a strategy that will give you the success you need.

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