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Are You Determined to File for Divorce? Know Advantages and Disadvantages If You File It First

If you are reading this article, we are sure your marriage is on the rocks, and you are planning to file for a divorce. Well, if two people are not getting along as they thought they would and before situations turn worse, it’s better to come out of that marriage. But if you are waiting for your spouse to take the initiative, you must know the pros and cons of such a decision.

Legally speaking, there are no implications or consequences for filing for divorce first. It does not indicate to the court that it’s you who wants to end the marriage. Sometimes, a partner becomes the filer because it’s easy for one to afford the filing fees, regardless of the fact whether he/she desires to. But there are benefits and drawbacks from a logistical standpoint, which we will discuss in this post.

Advantages that you can have if you file the divorce first

Before we discuss further on this matter, you must know that each case is unique. So, the information provided here is general and will vary depending on the nature of the case.

  • First, you will never get caught off guard as you are the initiator of the process and not on the receiving end.
  • You get to establish administrative expectations for the case, such as court dates and the venue.
  • You will have time to plan ahead by carefully weighing your options, and in doing so, Jensen Family Law attorneys in Mesa, AZ can guide you adequately.
  • You can determine the end date of the acquisition period for marital assets by filing the divorce first.
  • You will be the first to present your case in court because you are the stated petitioner, and your partner is the respondent.
  • Lastly, you feel a sense of relief after filing for the divorce, as you have done what you wanted to do for some time. It might give respite from a relationship that you imagined but never were. And it can also end an abusive marriage.

Drawbacks that you can have if you file the Divorce First

  • Suddenly informing your spouse about the arrangements may make the situation worse, especially for your children, as custody issues will arise. But if you own a lawful reason, you’ll most likely get sole custody of your children, for instance, if your spouse is in a state of domestic violence or substance abuse based on this article: Matters of asset distribution also come into play.
  • You may have to pay higher fees for the filing process and bear the court costs because they are mostly covered by the spouse who files the petition.
  • It makes it harder for you to go back and resolve everything if situations change and you decide to give your marriage another chance.


Again, we would like to bring to your notice that the court does not favor or disfavor the spouse who initiates the divorce process. The situation that led you to take this step may come into question. But a court of law cannot hold your right to culminate a marital contract against you. The legal procedures remain the same.