Answering an Illinois Divorce Petition – Have You Lost the Advantage?
When people talk to their friends about the possibility of divorce, they are often encouraged to be the first to file. The reason for this is the purported advantage that petitioners hold during the process – but is this advantage even real, and if so, do you necessarily lose it if you are not the first to file? Learn more about being the first to file for divorce, including when it may be appropriate and how an experienced attorney can guide you through the process.
Is the Advantage Real?
Although there are some circumstances in which one should be the first to file, filing first does not necessarily give one an advantage in the divorce. Both parties are considered equal in the courtroom, and it is factors that dictate decisions made by a judge, not who filed first. For example, filing first may not gain you any extra time with your children in your parenting plan. However, as previously mentioned, there are certain situations in which one really should file first – or, at the very least, the moment they realize that divorce is imminent.
The Advantage of Jurisdiction and Venue
While most divorcing parties still live within the proximity of one another, there are those who have moved to another county or state. In this situation, jurisdiction and venue (where the case is heard) may go to the petitioner. So, if your spouse lives in another county, and they file first, you may be forced to handle all your legal proceedings in that county. It is also important to note that the laws of your divorce would adhere to the state that receives jurisdiction, which could significantly change the outcome; if your spouse files first, that could go to them.
The Advantage of Protection in Domestic Violence
If you or your children are being harmed in any way – be it physically, verbally, or emotionally – it is important to get protections and possibly even support in place, as soon as humanly possible. Filing first gives you the ability to do that. If you are in imminent danger, you can also pursue an order of protection. A family law attorney may be able to help you through both processes, simultaneously, to ensure you obtain the most effective protection possible.
The Advantage of Asset Protection
Filing first may not increase the value of your settlement, but it can ensure it is protected from asset hiding and depletion. Funneling money into an offshore account, transferring money over to family or friends, and simply cleaning out the bank account for the sake of revenge are just some of the common issues seen in family courts. Action can be taken in divorce proceedings to stop such behavior, but first you have to file - and in this case, filing first could save you from losing everything.
Contact Our DuPage County Family Law Attorneys
At the Davi Law Group, LLC, we strive to ensure our clients receive every possible advantage divorce. Skilled and experienced, our DuPage County divorce lawyers protect your rights and interests at every turn. No matter what your situation, we strive for the most favorable outcome. Get started on your case by scheduling a personalized consultation. Call 630-580-6373 today.