Should I file for divorce first?

This is often one of the first questions we get when talking with prospective new clients. As a general rule, we don’t find that there is any tactical advantage in most cases to filing first. The party who files first is required to pay the filing fee ($175 for divorces without children; $255 for those with children), unless they qualify for a fee waiver. 

There are exceptions to this rule though, but many of these relate more to just getting the process started rather than being the one to file first. 

For example, if you have concerns that your spouse is draining bank accounts, hiding assets, or incurring excessive debt, you should consult with an attorney. Once the divorce is filed, your attorney can seek court orders preventing this kind of behavior and preserving your marital estate. 

Another example, would be if you have concerns that the other parent is going to take the minor children and prevent you from seeing them (often called parental kidnapping). Once the divorce process is started, your attorney can seek a court order granting a temporary custody and parenting time order as well as an order to prevent the minor children from being taken out of the state.

This article should not be construed as legal advice. Every case is different. Talk to your attorney today about any concerns you have. Call the Lashier Law Firm today at (586) 219-1984 or schedule your appointment online