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Should You File For Divorce Before Your Spouse Does In Michigan?

January 11, 2022 John Engman & Associates

Should You File For Divorce Before Your Spouse Does In Michigan?

divorce Grand Rapids MI


If you feel that your marriage is about to end, you might ask “Should I file a divorce before my spouse?” Though many find it advantageous to file for divorce first, remember that each divorce situation is different. Thus, the best thing to do is to consult a family lawyer to help you decide if it’s advantageous for you.

But even though there is no huge gain on filing first, below are some of the advantages you could enjoy when you file for divorce before your spouse.

Control over the Divorce Process

The spouse who files first most often has more control of the divorce progress. It is you who decides the time when the divorce process starts. The other party will have no other choice but to face the case even when caught by surprise. While your spouse is thinking and planning how to respond, you have already started and making your next move. Plus, the other party has a deadline to respond or else get a default divorce. On the other hand, you don’t worry about any deadline since you are the one who filed first.

Choice of Court Location

For couples living in a different state, the person who files first will determine where the divorce will take place. If you currently live in Michigan and your other half is in another state, you will have the advantages of having the divorce where it is most convenient for you. Get in touch with your family lawyer to know if the divorce law in Michigan would be advantageous for you or not.

Better Preparation

Even if you already have a firm decision, divorce is still an unpleasant process. It is burdensome. You get to prepare yourself mentally, emotionally, and financially when you file first. Remember that a divorce is still a lawsuit, which means it would incur expenses so you need to prepare financially. 

Aside from preparing yourself, you also have the advantage of gathering the necessary documentation first. Some of these documents are your bank statements, household bills, titles of ownership, and other relevant documents. Be sure that you contact your lawyer to have all the necessary documents ready and well organized. 

Opportunity to ask for Temporary Orders first

If you are planning to get a temporary order, the more reason to file for divorce first. You can ask the court for temporary orders before your spouse gets notified about the divorce filing. The order could be related to temporary child custody, protection from the other party, and limiting how much your spouse can spend from your assets or funds. Responding to the divorce filing and the request for temporary orders will give the other party many things to consider given their limited time to respond.

Again, it is not a huge advantage when you file for divorce first. If you are the petitioner, the other side could use your arguments against you and plan out a good response. This is why before making any move in a divorce process, it is best to consult a dependable and experienced family lawyer in Michigan.  We can help with the disclosure of assets during a divorce, child custody issues, spousal support, parental rights of unmarried men, and more. 

At John Engman & Associates, P.C., our Michigan divorce attorneys will do everything in their power to help you through this difficult time To request a consultation with one of our Grand Rapids, MI drug lawyers, give our office a call at (616) 454-5222.