It’s never a happy moment when you realize your marriage is over. However, once you’ve made the final decision to divorce your spouse, you’re probably anxious to get things moving as quickly as possible. But, should you be the first to file for divorce? And does it matter who files for divorce first in Ohio? The short answer is, maybe. There are some pros and cons to being first that you should know before you file.

Filing for Divorce First in Ohio: Pros and Cons

It’s important to explore the advantages and disadvantages when it comes to being the first to file for divorce in Ohio.

Depending on your relationship, one of the biggest advantages of filing first is the element of surprise — especially when it comes to complex relationships. Filing first gives you an upper hand regarding subsequent proceedings.

Other pros to filing for divorce first include:

  • Stopping your spouse from hiding assets: With the element of surprise, you give your spouse less time to seek counsel and to hide any assets or money before the court gets involved.
  • Having a say in the following proceedings: You may have the opportunity to choose court dates and decide which jurisdiction the divorce will take place in.
  • Having more time to prepare: If you are the spouse to initiate the divorce, you should have had more time to secure a quality Ohio divorce lawyer and get your paperwork in order.
  • Making the first impression: Not always, but in some instances, the courts will look at the papers that were filed first. In divorce proceedings, you may also get the chance to present your case first.

Since every relationship is different, there are also some disadvantages to consider when it comes to being the first to file for divorce in Ohio.

Some cons to filing for divorce first include:

  • Laying all your cards on the table:  By filing first, you usually have to present your list of requests or demands, which gives your spouse time to plan a rebuttal before going to court.
  • Paying for more fees: If you are the spouse to petition for divorce in Ohio, you may be responsible for handling all filing fees. You will also pay more legal fees, as your attorney must do the most legwork to gather all relevant information.
  • Limiting the chance for reconciliation: Once you file for divorce, you make your stance final. If there was any chance of reconciliation, you might ruin that.

In some instances, one spouse doesn’t have to be the first to file for divorce. There are options to filing a joint petition for divorce, which means both spouses agree to the divorce and all divorce-related issues. This process is usually uncontested and moves more quickly and efficiently than contested divorce proceedings in Ohio.

Get in Touch with a Columbus, Ohio Divorce Attorney

If you have questions about filing for divorce first in Ohio, it’s best to contact a trusted Ohio divorce attorney. At the Law Offices of Kenneth R. Kline LLC, we can provide the guidance you need to streamline the divorce process and walk away ready to start the next chapter of your life. If you are looking for a high-caliber attorney who understands filing for divorce in Ohio, contact our office for a risk-free consultation.

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