Does it matter who files for divorce first? Well, it does, as it often gives the person filing first a head start. While filing first comes with its advantages, it also comes with a couple of disadvantages. Which are these disadvantages? Here they are:

You have the responsibility of telling your spouse about your demands

When you file for divorce, you have your list of demands that you want to be made after the split. For example, you might want the house, cars, child support, spousal support, etc.

After you have worked with your best divorce lawyers and prepared an air-tight case, it’s your responsibility to serve your spouse with the divorce papers.

While this might be easy for some, it can be nerve-wracking for others, especially if the marriage wasn’t long or the spouses had promised each other.

Alerting your spouse about the divorce also means that you aren’t willing to give the marriage a chance, giving the impression that you are only interested in breaking up the marriage, instead of fixing it.

As you can imagine, this can be disastrous after the marriage vows.

Sometimes you pay more fees.

You have to pay the filing fees when you file for divorce. Since it’s your responsibility and that of your attorney to come together with a solid case, your attorney has to gather plenty of information, meaning they have to put in a lot of work, which translates to higher legal fees.

You put all your cards on the table.

When you serve your spouse with the divorce papers, you put all of your demands on display, which lets your spouse and their lawyer know about your intentions. This exposes you and your spouse can easily find the weak areas of the case and use them to their advantage.

You also risk walking away with much less than you should have, had your spouse filed first. This happens when you ask for much less than the assets you acquired together.

When your spouse notices that you aren’t aware of certain assets, they won’t notify you about it, and you lose.

Are there positives that come from filing first?

As much as filing for divorce first can be expensive on your end, and you might be viewed as a marriage wrecker, it comes with a set of positives, that include:

You have time to prepare for the divorce

Once you have decided that you can’t save your marriage, you have all the time in the world with your attorney to prepare for one and weigh all the options before making your demands.

Since your spouse isn’t aware of what is going on, you can properly scrutinize bank accounts, properties, and other assets, ensuring that you make the right demands.

You dictate the location.

The person who files for divorce first determines where the proceedings will occur. This might not be an issue if you both live in the same state, but you might have to incur huge travel costs if you live separately.

Of course, you should choose a location close to you, so that you have an easy time getting in and out of court.

You control the case.

When you file first, you slightly have control of your case. You control when you serve your spouse and where to have the proceedings. You can even cancel the divorce as long as your spouse hasn’t filed a response.

To make the most of your control, work closely with experienced divorce lawyers Fairfax VA who will help you make the right choices.