If you are considering a divorce, one of the first things you should do is contact a qualified family law attorney. Attempting to go through divorce on your own can be overwhelming can may lead to financial challenges in your post-divorce life. There are several other things you can do that can help to secure your desired outcome. Even as you try to decide if divorce is the best option, you may also consider that filing for divorce before your spouse does could have certain advantages.
Getting an Edge
There are several possible benefits to filing for divorce first. The first is that you are being proactive in taking control over your life. By filing for divorce first, you will not be forced to react to your spouse’s actions or behaviors. Instead, you can take the initiative and assemble a team professionals who are equipped to help you navigate the divorce process. Such professionals may include therapists and counselors as well as financial and real estate analysts to assist with marital property concerns.
Filing first also offers you the advantage of being fully prepared in advance. If you are the one filing, you have the ability to gather all of your important documentation before the divorce proceedings get underway. If you have everything ready to go by the time you file your petition, you could save significant time and money during the process. You should have clear, current copies of documents such as:
- Tax returns;
- Loan documents;
- Wills, trusts, and estate planning paperwork;
- Financial statements;
- Banking information;
- Credit card statements;
- Deeds to real estate holding;
- Car registration;
- Insurance policies; and
- Inventories of what you and your spouse own.
It is important to recognize that most of the advantages to filing first in a divorce are primarily psychological or emotional. From a legal perspective, filing first affect very little regarding your standing during the proceedings. Both parties in a divorce have equal opportunities to file motions, present evidence, and make arguments before the court. In fact, despite the reality that divorce, at its core, a civil lawsuit, the language of the law in Illinois replaces the traditional “plaintiff” and “defendant” terminology with “petitioner” and “respondent.”
Seek Professional Guidance
If you are considering a divorce and would like to get an edge, if possible, by filing for divorce before your spouse does, contact an experienced Orland Park family law attorney. Call 708-518-8200 for a free consultation at Kezy & Associates today.