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Is It Better for a Woman to File for Divorce First?

It is estimated that around 40-50% of marriages in the US eventually end in divorce. But when is the best time to hire women’s divorce lawyers in Columbus, OH? Is it better to initiate the process or to wait until your spouse files for divorce? The answer is that it depends on your situation. You should get in touch with your attorney as soon as you are sure you’d like to separate from your partner. They can then help you figure out the best moment to file. 

In the eyes of the law, it doesn’t matter which person initiates because both partners will have equal rights. However, there are certain benefits of being the one to file first, such as increased preparedness, more control, and being able to choose the professionals you work with first. Today, let’s have a closer look at what you should do if you believe a divorce is imminent and whether you should initiate the process.

Does It Matter Who Starts the Divorce Process? 

It’s important to note that you aren’t automatically at a disadvantage if you don’t start the divorce process. But there are good reasons why it could be advantageous for you to initiate since this will give you slightly more control and preparation time. What’s more, you get the first choice when it comes to selecting professionals, such as your financial planners and expert witnesses, to work with.

When you get in touch with us at WSM, we will discuss your situation and let you know whether it would be a good idea for you to file right away. There are multiple factors to consider, including whether there are children involved and what assets are at stake. Initiating the process could mean that you are the first to present your case, which can be both positive and negative.

More Control

The desire to have a greater level of control over the process is one of the reasons why many women file first. Because you’ll determine the timing of your divorce, you are in a better position to predict the dates of your hearings and court appearances. This allows you to prepare optimally and schedule your divorce around other work or family-related matters.

More Time to Gather Crucial Evidence 

Most likely, you will meet with your lawyers before initiating your divorce, and you’ll start to figure out important matters such as property division, alimony, childcare, and child support. When you’re the one filing, the amount of time you and your attorney have to prepare is greater, and you won’t feel rushed. If, on the other hand, your spouse files first, they may already have a head start by the time you are notified about the divorce.

This shortens the time you have to gather the necessary evidence and may eventually put you in a worse financial position. What’s more, it will cause you a significant amount of distress. Having the time you need to get ready for court takes a lot of the pressure off your situation and helps you remain calm and collected throughout. For this reason, it’s often best to be the one anticipating the change in your circumstances.

First Choice for Professional Help  

Aside from your women’s divorce lawyers, you may need to work with other experts, who can strengthen your case and help you through this stressful period. For instance, there might be expert witnesses you can call on to prove that you are entitled to your share of the assets and that you are the more competent and involved parent. Additionally, you may require the services of forensic accountants, financial planners, and therapists.

Being the person to file gives you an opportunity to think about whom you would like to hire. You will have the first choice and can therefore pick the top professionals in your local area. What’s more, you can do this without rushing or worrying that your spouse has already selected the most competent experts.

First to Present Your Case 

If you’re able to come to an agreement with your spouse, you can settle the matter out of court. But unfortunately, this isn’t always possible, and you may need to fight for your rights. If it comes to this, the person who initiates the divorce will often be the first one to present their case in court. You can speak to your attorney to find out whether this would be advantageous for you and what implications it has for your case.

Often, speaking first can be good because the initial impression you make on the judge and jury is very important. However, it can also be a problem because your spouse and their lawyer will hear everything you say. They can then react to it and potentially adjust their statements. What’s more, you have to be prepared more quickly than the other side. It’s important to consider the pros and cons of going first and then make an informed choice.

How Can Women’s Divorce Lawyers in Columbus, OH Help?

When you’re getting ready to file for divorce, you should get in touch with a competent local divorce lawyer for women. They will be the best person to ask about the process because they have worked on many similar cases and are therefore aware of the relevant strategies. Together with your attorney, you can decide when to file and make sure you have a strong network of professionals in place.

Throughout your divorce, the lawyer will be there for you. At first, they will find out what your desired outcome is, then negotiate with the other side. If you and your spouse are not able to come to a satisfactory agreement, a good attorney won’t hesitate to take your case to court and fight for your rights.

What If You Missed Your Chance? 

As discussed, it’s often best to file for divorce first or at least to consider carefully whether you would like to be the one to initiate. But what happens if you’re already too late and your spouse has filed? Are you now at a disadvantage? Most lawyers agree that you shouldn’t worry, since this isn’t automatically the case.

In the eyes of the court, both people have equal rights, no matter who filed first. So, you still have a good chance of achieving the desired outcome, especially if you work with an experienced attorney. In fact, you might even have certain advantages in court, especially if your divorce former partner is responsible for the separation.

Get the Help You Need to Start the Process

No matter who files for divorce first, the court will consider all evidence equally. However, you will feel more prepared if you have some level of control over when your divorce happens. What’s more, you may have additional time to gather the necessary evidence if you decide to file first, and you will have slightly more time to spend with your Columbus, OH women’s divorce lawyers.

Divorces are very individual, and there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the timing and whether you should file first. When you get in touch with us, we can review your situation and figure out what the best course of action is. Call or email us today at Woodford Sathappan McGee to book your initial meeting with one of our experts. We will be happy to help you get the best outcome possible.