My Spouse And I Are Fighting A Lot And I Think A Divorce Is Inevitable. Does It Matter In Florida Who Files For Divorce First?

When a couple decides to divorce, in some cases it can be a race to the courthouse. Many people believe that the spouse who files first has an advantage in the divorce proceedings.

Most attorneys agree that filing for divorce first does not give a clear advantage in a divorce in Florida.

One small advantage could be that the spouse who files first has done some research on how to prepare for the divorce, while the other spouse could be blindsided.

In many divorce cases, the other spouse who did not file first will file a counter-petition, so there often will be two petitions pending on the case, so any advantage is gone.

However, it’s often good psychologically to feel that you are on the offense and not the defense.

It also often helps the petitioner to have control over the process, which can give some emotional stability to the petitioner.

Most attorneys will tell a spouse who is considering a divorce to prepare carefully before filing for divorce, including obtaining financial records, setting aside money for attorney’s fees, and preparing a budget and a plan for living on one income.

Racing to the courthouse just to “beat” your spouse doesn’t offer many benefits - it may be better to carefully plan and bide your time.

However, if your spouse is violent you should seek help immediately, which may include filing for divorce.


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