Crystal Wright | May 12, 2023 | Divorce
Divorce is a legal procedure for concluding a couple’s married life and dissolving the marriage. At the end of a divorce, the ex-spouses have the legal status of single and unmarried, with the freedom to marry someone else if they desire.
In theory, neither spouse is supposed to gain a legal advantage by filing first. But in reality, there are several situations where one spouse should file for a Lawrenceville divorce first.
What Is a Divorce?
Divorce allows a married person to dissolve the marriage. Georgia allows no-fault divorces, as the petitioner can cite an irretrievably broken marriage as the reason for filing.
The divorce process resolves four issues before dissolving the marriage:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Property division
- Spousal support, also known as alimony
In some situations, you can resolve some or all of these issues with your spouse to speed up the divorce process. But in many cases, your spouse will contest at least some of these points.
In either situation, the judge will issue a divorce decree at the end of the case. This decree will outline each spouse’s duties and responsibilities and terminate the marriage.
The law is supposed to treat both spouses equally during the divorce. Thus, neither spouse should gain any legal benefits by filing first. But many practical considerations can favor the first to file. Some reasons you should file a Lawrenceville divorce first include:
You Want a Convenient Venue
Divorce lawyers use the term “venue” to describe the court that will handle the divorce. In Georgia, each county has at least one court that handles divorces.
You can file for divorce in any county where you or your spouse have lived for at least six months before the filing. If you and your spouse were separated before the divorce, the proper venue might lie in two different counties. By filing first, you get to decide which county gets the divorce.
For example, suppose that you live in Gwinnett County, and your spouse lives in Fulton County. Either county would provide a proper venue for your divorce. But by filing in Gwinnett County first, you ensure you get the venue that is more convenient for you.
You Do Not Believe Your Spouse Will Initiate the Divorce
If your spouse has abandoned the marriage, you might believe they will not initiate the divorce. For example, if your spouse has disappeared or has left home due to a substance use problem, you might need a divorce and have no reason to believe your spouse will initiate it.
In this situation, the only way to get divorced will be for you to file first. The divorce will free you to marry someone else. It will also relieve you of any liabilities your ex-spouse might create.
Your Spouse May Try To Hide Assets
When you file a divorce, the court will order that both spouses should refrain from moving or disposing of any assets without permission from the court. Sometimes, you need this order to stop your spouse from hiding assets. By filing without giving your spouse any notice, you can reduce the risk that marital assets will disappear.
You Want the First Choice of Attorneys
Attorneys and law firms can only work for one party in a case. If you file first, you get your choice of attorneys. You also deprive your spouse of choosing the attorney you hired, which is equally important.
Divorce Tactics and Strategies Can Reduce Stress
Divorces can take a long time. Over that time, you may face many contentious and emotional issues. Filing first can relieve some of the stresses of divorce and allow you at least some measure of control.
Contact the Divorce Lawyers at Crystal Wright Law To Get Legal Assistance Today
To learn more and get the help you deserve, call our divorce & family law firm at (404) 594-2143 or reach out to Crystal Wright Law online by visiting our contact us page.
You can also visit our law firm at 440 S. Perry Street Suite 105, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.