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Does it Matter Who Files for Divorce First?

by | Oct 9, 2021 | Uncategorized |

When you are considering divorce, you may have spoken to friends or family members about the process, and you might have done some research on your own. In doing so, you might hear or learn that you should file for divorce first in order to have more control over the divorce case. Ultimately, the question of whether filing for divorce first matters will depend upon the circumstances of your case. For some couples, it does not matter much at all whether one of the parties files for divorce first. In other situations, it can be extremely beneficial to be the party who files the petition for divorce and serves divorce papers on the other spouse. Our Michigan divorce attorneys can say more.

Uncontested and Amicable Divorces

Generally speaking, if you are anticipating an uncontested divorce, and you and your spouse are on relatively amicable terms and in agreement about ending the marriage, it might not make much of a difference if you file for divorce first or your spouse files first under Michigan law. However, if you want to get the process moving quickly, you should get in touch with a divorce attorney about filing for divorce.

When Filing for Divorce First Can Make a Difference

In other cases where the divorce will be a contested case, and where the spouses are involved in a situation involving family violence or intense disputes, filing for divorce first may be extremely beneficial to you.

By filing for divorce first, you can provide significant information to the court about the case, and you can get ahead of certain concerns like copying financial documents or gathering information about marital assets before your spouse knows of your intent to file for divorce. In situations involving domestic violence, you can also ask the court for a temporary personal protection order and other measures to help keep you safe. Moreover, you can also ask the court to consider temporary child custody provisions that can take into account concerns about family violence.

What Should I Do if My Spouse Filed for Divorce First? 

In most cases, you do not need to be concerned if your spouse was the party who filed for divorce, resulting in you being the party who received divorce papers. You do, however, need to get in touch with a divorce attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you file a response to the divorce papers in a timely manner and do not inadvertently waive any of your rights.

Contact Our Michigan Divorce Attorneys 

Are you considering divorce? You should get in touch with an experienced Michigan divorce attorney as quickly as possible. The sooner we can assess your case, the sooner we can help you to understand whether it makes sense to file for divorce first and to ensure that you are the party who serves your ex with divorce papers instead of the other way around. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins to speak with an advocate today about your case.