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Does it help a woman to file first for divorce?

When some marriages end, the decision to divorce by one partner can shock the other person, especially when the husband announces his intentions to his wife before she has time to prepare. However, the woman usually suspects that the marriage is ending and might have time to plan for divorce. One common concern women have is wondering whether there is a legal and financial advantage to filing the paperwork for divorce first.

A woman should review several advantages when deciding if she should file for divorce. First of all, she can pull together a team of experts to help her through the divorce process, including a lawyer, a financial advisor, a therapist and a career counselor. Second, she can organize all the necessary documents in order to begin the process. She will need copies of all important financial and legal paperwork, including loan statements, retirement information, vehicle registration, birth certificates, tax records and more. Third, she can have cash and credit available before she files for divorce. She should set aside money for the divorce team and get a credit card as soon as she can.

In some cases, husbands might try to hide money when divorcing. Filing first can help protect women against this type of deceit. By filing first, a woman can decide what jurisdiction will handle the divorce. This can be important when deciding between different states since the laws can vary greatly between locales.

While the decision to divorce is usually not made lightly, women might be at an advantage if they file first. In Georgia, family attorneys might be able to help women with challenging decisions during this process.

Source: Forbes, "What Are The Financial And Legal Advantages Of Being First To File For Divorce?," Jeff Landers, March 26, 2013

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