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Tampa Divorce Attorney | Blog | Divorce | Are There Any Advantages of Being the First to File for Divorce?

Are There Any Advantages of Being the First to File for Divorce?


Filing for divorce is a life-altering decision. For this reason, the decision to file for divorce is never an easy one.  However, when a marriage seems irreparably broken, someone must make the decision to file for divorce. If you are considering being the first to file for divorce, one of the questions you may be asking yourself is whether there are any benefits to filing for divorce first. Being the first to file for divorce does not have any benefit in regard to the outcome of divorce-related matters such as child custody/timesharing, property division, alimony, or child support. However, being the first to file for divorce may have some legal and strategic advantages. The following are some of the potential benefits of being the first to file for divorce;

You May Be Able To Choose Where Your Divorce Will Be Adjudicated

While jurisdictional rules often determine where to file a divorce case, there are situations when there may be multiple counties where one can file for divorce. In such a case, it may be a huge advantage to be the one to file for divorce first. By filing first, you can choose where to file your case. The choice of where you file for divorce can be important in terms of local laws, regulations, or procedures. Different jurisdictions may handle divorce cases differently.

Control Over Timing

The divorce process begins when the divorce petition is filed. By being the first to file for divorce, you control when the process starts and many of the deadlines that follow after the divorce process has been initiated. For instance, when you are the first to file for divorce, you start the clock on when the respondent (your spouse) must have filed their response, which then triggers the start of the discovery period.

 You May Be the First Party To Present Your Case at Trial

Being the party that filed the divorce papers can mean you get to speak first at your trial. This can be highly advantageous if you have a strong argument and want to set the tone for the presentation of your case. Being the first to present their side of the story can be beneficial when trying to persuade a judge to your side. However, it is important to note that while there may be pros for presenting a divorce case first in court..

You Have an Opportunity To Prepare Better

Being the one who files first can allow you more time to prepare your case, gather necessary documents, and consult with an attorney and other professionals. Also, as the party filing for divorce, it means you are already emotionally prepared for the divorce.

You Can Avoid the Surprise of Being Served With Divorce Papers

Being caught off guard at work, home, or another place can be unsettling. By being the one who files for divorce first, you can avoid the surprise of being served with divorce papers at home, work, or another place.

Contact Us for Legal Help

Are you trying to determine if you should file for divorce? Have you been served with divorce papers? Do you need help understanding the Florida divorce process? Our skilled Tampa divorce attorney at The Law Office of Laura A. Olson, P.A., is here for you.

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