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When divorcing, does it matter who files first?

Morris County NJ Family Law FirmOften in divorce, both spouses will share a sense that the relationship is broken, and cannot be repaired.  The thought of legally ending the marriage has occurred to both parties privately, and one very common question under these circumstances is: “Does it matter who files for the divorce first?”  The answer is complex, but according to many divorce and financial consultants, yes, it does.  While you don’t want to prematurely end something so important as a marriage, there are several reasons to consider being the first to file.

Being Prepared for Your Divorce Morristown NJ

Typically, the spouse who initiates the divorce by filing first will have already consulted with experienced legal counsel and gathered all the necessary paperwork.  This leaves the other spouse trying to play catch up, and being well prepared can give you an advantage at the negotiating table.

Additionally, it is becoming common for individuals to retain the services of a financial analyst during divorce in order to protect themselves monetarily.  It takes time to find the right fit, and to discuss all of your options with them.  Some people are also choosing to seek out therapists to help them cope with the stresses and difficulties of the divorce process.  All of these things take time, and the sooner you start, the sooner you can be ready to handle the finer details of the divorce.

Financial Motivators for Filing First Parsippany NJ

Another reason you may wish to consider being the first to file for your divorce is financial advantages.  The divorce process is not cheap, and if you can plan ahead and save some money for the various expenses associated with divorce, you will be in a much stronger negotiating position than otherwise.  If you are unable to save pre-divorce, you may wish to consider securing a line of credit prior to filing for the divorce.

Another financial aspect to consider is that of an Automatic Temporary Restraining Order (ATRO).  Despite the common perception, a restraining order in this case does not refer to preventing physical violence, rather it is used to put a halt on financial movement in joint accounts, prevent spouses from borrowing or lending against marital property, and changing the terms on policies like investment, insurance, and retirement.  Being first to file lets you consult with an attorney, and help them prepare the ATRO so that it is ready to be filed along with your divorce.

Jurisdictional Advantages Morris Plains NJ

Divorces are almost always decided in the jurisdiction in which they are filed.  If you and your spouse are already estranged and living in separate states, there may be legal advantages to filing in one state over the other.  There may also be small differences in the way different judges rule which will work to your advantage.  In any case, you will want to research the different jurisdictional options available to you, and consult with experienced Morris County NJ divorce attorneys to find your best option.

Contact a Morris County NJ Family Law Firm Today

If you are considering a divorce, or believe that your spouse is, it is highly recommended that you speak with a separation and divorce attorney, if only to explore your options and the best course of action moving forward.  Regardless of whether or not you decide to pursue a divorce, as discussed in this article, it is always best to be prepared.  There are many advantages to being prepared, and if you do decide to move forward with your divorce you will be in a much better negotiating position.

Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark is one of the largest and most well-equipped family law firms in the state of New Jersey. Our New Jersey divorce attorneys have the skill and experience to handle the most complex and contentious divorce situations, as we tackle critical issues ranging from child custody, to alimony, child support, and division of assets. Having assisted countless clients from all walks of life, we have the knowledge and resources to achieve positive outcomes for high profile individuals, high net worth couples, and business owners and investors, as well as the compassion to support and advocate for parents and victims of domestic violence.

If you or a loved one is considering a divorce, or going through the divorce process, contact us online or call our Morristown NJ office today at 973-840-8970 or Toll Free 973-840-8970.