One common questions people have when they consider leaving a marriage is whether filing first has any advantages. In Michigan, there are both advantages and possible drawbacks to being first to file depending on one’s circumstances. It can be helpful for people to understand how the order of filing may impact a divorce before moving forward.
Some of the benefits of filing first are:
- Timing: The most obvious benefit to filing first is having the most time to prepare. The filer also has more control over when proceeding start, which can give them a clearer idea of when they will need to have documents in order. Overall, this can be a major strategic advantage.
- Choice of where to file: If a couple has ties to more than one location, such as properties in multiple counties, there may be benefits to filing in one location instead of another. Laws can differ between states, and tendencies of judges may also differ. A lawyer may be able to help a filer strategically select where is best to file in their case.
- Legal advantages: The individual who files has certain legal advantages, such as his or her lawyer having the right to speak to the court first and last. This can be very helpful if court proceedings are needed.
Despite these advantages, there can be some cons to filing for divorce first. While there are few disadvantages legally, one may need to consider damage to the relationship with the soon-to-be-ex that could make mediation difficult down the line. One may also have to weigh the emotional and mental toll filing can take. When weighing these pros and cons, it can be very helpful to speak with a Michigan lawyer to make the best decision, both strategically and in terms of one’s peace of mind.