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What to expect after you file for divorce

what happens after you file for divorce

For many married couples who ended up getting divorced, it was pretty evident for some time before divorce papers were filed that the marriage was heading towards an end. If you feel like a divorce is inevitable between you and your spouse, you may wonder whether there are any benefits to filing for divorce first before your spouse can. Although you may not want to subject your spouse to an unfair surprise, there are benefits to being the party who initiates the divorce. Continue reading to find out what happens after you file for divorce.

You’ll Have Legal Representation

When you make the decision to seek a divorce, you give yourself the opportunity to secure legal representation for your divorce case. You can also give your attorney time to investigate and thoroughly prepare your case, rather than having to rush to put a case together after being served with divorce papers. You can also avoid a situation where you may not be able to hire your preferred attorney if they previously met with your spouse for a consultation where confidential information was discussed, since the attorney would have a conflict of interest in representing you.

Being the first to file also gives you time to secure help from financial experts, mental health specialists, and vocational experts if you need to reenter the job market after an extended absence

You’ve Gathered the Documents You Will Need in Your Divorce Case

Filing first means you can also gather and secure all relevant documents you’ll need for your divorce, including bank and brokerage statements, mortgages and deeds, insurance policies, estate planning documents, vehicle records, and tax returns. Trying to secure these documents if your spouse files for divorce ahead of you can be more difficult, especially if certain documents end up “disappearing.” 

You Can Make Plans for Financial Security

When you’re the one who files for divorce, you can also make arrangements to ensure you have financial security during your case, including having funds to pay your legal fees and other expenses of the divorce matter, and setting up separate bank and credit accounts so that you can have uninterrupted access to money. Trying to financially untangle yourself from your spouse once you’ve initiated divorce proceedings can be significantly more complex.

You Can Prevent Your Spouse from Hiding Assets

Unfortunately, some spouses who contemplate divorce take efforts to hide assets to prevent them from being equitably distributed by the court. When you’re the one who files for divorce, it gives you the opportunity to obtain court orders to prevent assets from being hidden, transferred, or dissipated. 

You Get to Decide Where the Divorce Will Be Heard

If you file the divorce complaint, that means you decide the jurisdiction where the divorce will be heard. This may be a relevant consideration if you and your spouse have already separated and live in different states. States have different laws when it comes to alimony, equitable distribution, or child custody and support, so choosing to file in the state that may be more favorable or convenient to you can be critical to ensuring that you get the results you want in your divorce action. 

Contact a Clark Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Divorce in New Jersey Today

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at Team Law represent clients throughout the state, including Camden, Passaic, Union City, and Bayonne. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (732) 540-1394 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 136 Central Ave., Clark, NJ 07066, as well as offices located in West New York, Perth Amboy, Edison, Summit, Newark, New Brunswick, Orange, Plainfield, and Jersey City.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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