Why waiting for a spouse to file for divorce can backfire

On Behalf of | May 18, 2023 | Divorce & Legal Separation |

Many people who file for divorce say that their marriage was over long before they involved the legal system. Others will claim they never saw their divorce coming, even if they were secretly relieved that their spouse took action to dissolve their union. In either event, those in unhappy marriages often turn the divorce process into a waiting game. Neither spouse wants to feel like the bad guy, so they wait for the other to give up and file the initial divorce paperwork. People act as though choosing to file inevitably means that an individual is responsible for the end of the marriage.

However, there are actually numerous drawbacks to waiting indefinitely for a spouse to file divorce paperwork, and many people who know that divorce is inevitable might benefit from taking control of the situation.

Those who don’t file can get blindsided

There are some people who will try to embarrass or punish their spouse by approaching the divorce filing in a certain way. They may pick a date that will be difficult for their spouse because of their personal history or arrange to have them served in a public location to embarrass them. Individuals who wait for their spouse to file never know when they might receive notice that their marriage is about to end.

Those who file have a chance to prepare first

The day that someone files for divorce might be the day that living circumstances change for the whole family. Those that don’t already have all of the necessary financial and household records when their spouse files for divorce might face a much longer and more difficult process to obtain the same records that were once easily accessible to them. When someone makes the choice to file first, they have an opportunity to gather all of the documentation they need ahead of time and make sense of the household’s economic circumstances and put together an accurate inventory of household assets and responsibilities.

Seeking legal guidance to better understand how to prepare for – and time – a divorce filing can reduce the stress involved in this process.