Does It Matter Who Files For Divorce First In Florida?
If you have been considering divorce, you may have already started thinking about factors that may give you the upper hand in your case. You may have even wondered if filing for divorce first holds any benefits. Truthfully, filing for divorce first does not really give you any legal advantage during your case. However, there are some benefits that come with being the first to file. Below, our Tampa divorce lawyers explain why you may want to file first if you are thinking about ending your marriage.
For many people, being served with divorce papers is a shock. This is especially true when the person served had no idea their partner was considering divorce. After service, a spouse then has only 20 days to respond to the divorce complaint. This is not a lot of time to prepare. First, the person served has to get over the shock of facing the divorce process, and then they may have to collect financial documents and more. By being the first to file, you can take as much time as you need to collect the important paperwork so you are fully prepared for your case.
Choice of Court and Jurisdiction
Under Florida law, anyone who wishes to file for divorce must live in the state for six months before filing. Additionally, spouses filing for divorce must file in the same county in which they live. By filing first, you can determine which jurisdiction and court you file in if you can determine where you live when you file.
Protecting Your Finances
Everyone knows that divorce is expensive. If you file first though, you can shield yourself from some of those costs. Once you file for divorce, you will no longer be responsible for any debt your spouse accumulates afterward. You can also protect any income you earn after you file, the retirement savings you collect after that point, and any assets you acquire, as they may not be subject to property division.
Requesting a Temporary Restraining Order
If you believe that filing for divorce will put you at an increased risk of threats or violence, filing first also has additional advantages. When you file for divorce, you can also ask the court to grant a temporary restraining order against your spouse. A Tampa family lawyer can help you file your petition and ask for a domestic violence injunction.
There is no way around it. Divorce is an emotional process. By filing first, you are not only more practically prepared, but it can help you emotionally prepare, too. Filing for divorce first can give you a sense of empowerment and control over the process, which is vastly different from feeling shocked and caught off guard by being served with divorce papers.
Our Tampa Divorce Lawyers Can Help You File
If you are considering divorce, do not hesitate to call our Tampa divorce lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. We will guide you through the divorce process, and give you the best chance of obtaining the fair settlement you deserve. Call us today at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help. Se habla español.