As Phoenix divorce attorneys, we are often asked whether it’s better to be the one to file for divorce or the one to be served. From a legal standpoint, there is no implication or consequence of being the first to file for divorce.
It does not show to the courts that you are the aggressor or the one who decided to bail on the marriage. Sometimes, a spouse becomes the filer simply because he or she can better afford the filing fees, whether he or she wanted it or not.
However, there are definitely advantages and disadvantages from a logistical perspective, and we are going to cover those more specifically in this article.
If you are going through the process of considering an Arizona divorce, it is advantageous to retain the legal counsel of an experienced Phoenix divorce attorney at DeShon Laraye Pullen, PLC. We can help you navigating the complexities of filing and serving your petition as well as helping you through it all over the long-run time horizon. Contact our office for an initial case view by calling (602) 252-1968.
Be Aware that Every Case Is Unique
While the information presented below is purely informational in nature, it can help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of being the first party to file for divorce. Keep in mind that only the direct application of the law by a licensed Arizona attorney is the best way to determine your options.
Pros and Cons of Filing for Divorce First in Arizona
The advantages of filing for divorce first are marginal from a general standpoint. However, benefits do exist for specific situations. For starters, you aren’t ‘caught off guard’ by being on the receiving end of divorce papers.
Advantages of filing for divorce first include:
- Establishing the administrative expectation of the case including court dates and choice of venue
- The ability to plan for the divorce beforehand by carefully considering your options and possibly speaking with an Arizona family law attorney
- A sense of relief since the plug has been pulled on the marriage and you were the one to initiate it
- Deciding when the date of marital asset acquisition periods end by filing
- Being the first to speak in court since you are the named petitioner and your spouse is the respondent
On the other hand, a few simple disadvantages exist when it comes to being the first filer. However, to truly gauge the effects, it really depends on your unique situation and the nature of your relationship with your ex.
Disadvantages of filing for divorce include:
- Suddenly alerting your ex to the assets and custody arrangement of which your eyes are set
- Paying higher filing fees and court costs since they are generally offered by the petitioning spouse
- Making it difficult to go back on your word if you later change your position on the matter of divorce
Again, the court does not treat the spouse who filed for divorce any differently. The circumstances surrounding the filing may come into question, but courts can not legally hold your right to terminate a marriage contract against you.
Your only requirement is to devise a strategy that protects your remaining assets, any shared children, and complies with Arizona law.
Hire a Phoenix Divorce Lawyer to Help you File in Arizona
As you can see, there are many thoughts and considerations when it comes to answering the question of who should file for divorce first in Arizona.
The best way to ensure that your interests and family stay protected is by hiring the experienced legal counsel of a licensed Arizona family law attorney. He or she can help you through the initial filing process while managing your case until the decree is finalized.
Consider Working with DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC
At Deshon Laraye Pullen PLC, we know how painful the divorce process is. But we also know that you need a strong advocate to pull you through the process and become stronger over the long-run. Plus, we’ll ensure that we handle your divorce following your values and your family’s best interest.
You can schedule an initial consultation with a Phoenix divorce lawyer team member today by calling (602) 252-1968 or by sending us a message regarding the details of your divorce through our online contact form.