Does it Matter who files first in a Divorce?
The filing of a divorce triggers certain things that you must be aware of when deciding whether you should file for divorce first or let your spouse file. When determining marital property, the court will consider two specific dates. The first date is the date of marriage. The second date the court will consider is the day an action for divorce was filed. Any property obtained, regardless of title, between the date of marriage and the date of filing, will be considered for purposes of equitable distribution. Thus, the day you file is an important for the purposes of establishing the universe of what is considered martial property.
Additionally, the date of filing also brings with it automatic orders and notices which will affect your action. Automatic orders prohibit the parties from transferring assets or canceling insurance policies pending the outcome of the divorce. In addition to these orders, your spouse will be given notice of the temporary maintenance guidelines.
So the answer to your question is, it might. Once the decision to get divorced has been made, especially if there are children involved, you may be best served by executing your plan expeditiously. Does it really matter if the date of filing gets you an extra day of marital property? Are you worried that your spouse will cancel policies or transfer assets? Do you just want to get going and get through this time in your life? When determining if matters who files first in your divorce action, the answer these questions will help guide you to your answer. Remember to focus on your outcome, stay strong and keep taking ground.