Should I File for Divorce First?

Posted on in Illinois Family Law

IL divorce lawyerMaking the decision to get divorced is never easy no matter what the circumstances might be. Depending upon the specific facts of your case, the divorce process can take months before property division occurs and the court can issue an allocation judgment concerning parental responsibilities. If you are thinking about filing for divorce, you may be asking yourself: should I file for divorce first? Keep in mind that, regardless of whether you are the one who files the petition for divorce, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) will govern the process for your divorce.

While the outcome may be similar whether you are the petitioner (the spouse filing for divorce) or the respondent (the spouse being served divorce papers after the other spouse files first) in an Illinois divorce, there may be some advantages to being the petitioner. In other words, the spouse who files for divorce first may see some benefits over the spouse who is ultimately served with divorce papers.

How Being the Petitioner in a Divorce Case Can Give You the Benefit of Planning Ahead

Being the petitioner in a divorce, or the spouse who files for divorce first may have some financial benefits. For example, that spouse often can spend more time seeking out the best divorce attorney for his or her case and may have the luxury of interviewing multiple lawyers before making a decision about who to hire. As such, the spouse who files for divorce first often can work with the best divorce lawyer for his or her case from the beginning stages of the divorce.

Being the first to file for divorce also means that you will have the opportunity to get your financial documents in order before filing a petition for divorce. For example, you can gather information about your income and your spouse’s income, records for any business holdings or investments that you and your spouse may share, and receipts and records for any valuable property in your home, such as artwork or motor vehicles.

Filing for Divorce First May Prevent Your Spouse from Hiding Assets

Given that you will be able to gather detailed records of marital assets before you file for divorce, you may be able to prevent your spouse from hiding assets. While attempts to hide assets are not always common in Illinois, some spouses may believe that certain property should not be classified as a marital asset and thus should not be divisible. As such, that spouse may try to prevent that asset from appearing on documents related to marital property. By filing first, you can ensure that you have records of all property owned by you and your spouse, leaving it up to the court to determine the classification of all assets and debts.

Having Your Case Heard in DuPage County

If your spouse is not located in DuPage County, filing first can also mean that your divorce case will be heard in DuPage County (in an area where you are comfortable). For many people planning to file for divorce, this can be a significant benefit.

Contact an Oakbrook Terrace Divorce Lawyer

An experienced Oakbrook Terrace divorce attorney can discuss additional benefits of being the first to file for divorce. If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to our firm. We are committed to providing services for families throughout DuPage County and in the larger Muslim community in our area. Contact Farooqi & Husain Law Office at 630-909-9114 for more information.

 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2013/03/26/what-are-the-financial-and-legal-advantages-of-being-first-to-file-for-divorce/#15bd87b43ac0

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=3000000&SeqEnd=3700000

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