Should I File for Divorce in Illinois First?

hinsdale divorce lawyerWhen a couple is heading for divorce, both partners are typically aware that someone will need to file divorce papers with the Illinois county’s Clerk of the Circuit Court. Only one divorce case may be filed for a couple at a time, so it is natural to wonder whether there are any advantages to filing for divorce first. 

Because Illinois is a state that only allows for no-fault divorce, you do not have to prove that your spouse did anything wrong. You must simply attest to having irreconcilable differences, and that there is no chance of the marriage succeeding. However, there may still be advantages to being the first person to file for divorce. 

You May Be Better Prepared

Sometimes, one spouse will wait to tell the other spouse that they are filing for divorce in order to surprise them. They may even do this in an attempt to get revenge. You will not be caught by surprise if you are the spouse who files first. 

Once one spouse has filed for divorce, the proceedings begin and must be paid for. Court hearings will not wait for you to get your finances in order to move forward with the proceedings. Having your financial situation prepared and ready can be a great advantage during divorce. 

It is always a good idea to obtain current and accurate financial documents, such as bank accounts, retirement savings, and life insurance policies before you start the divorce process. When you know that the divorce is coming, you can prepare your finances accordingly.

You Can Ask For Standing Orders

Sometimes, a spouse who learns that a divorce filing has taken place will panic or attempt to better their circumstances by hiding finances, assets, and other possessions. They may take out debt on shared credit cards or home equity loans, hoping to force you to pay for part of the debt in the divorce settlement. 

If you file for divorce first, you can request something called a “standing order” – this is a legally binding court order that prohibits spouses from dissipating marital assets or racking up debt on shared credit. This can help you preserve your financial health and prevent further conflict down the road. 

You Can File in the County of Your Choice

Many things in the divorce process are out of your control, even if you file first. However, filing first allows you to choose the county in which you want the divorce to take place. This can be a huge advantage, especially if you live or work somewhere far away from your spouse. Filing first also allows you to control the tenor of the divorce to some extent. If you are hoping to keep the divorce amicable, your behavior during the initial filing can start the process on the right foot. 

Consult a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Having an experienced Hinsdale divorce attorney on your side during your divorce process can help you avoid mistakes and save you valuable time and money. At the law office of Martoccio & Martoccio, we are highly skilled in handling divorce cases and advocate aggressively on behalf of our clients. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation at 630-920-8855. 

 

Sources:

http://www.cookcountycourt.org/ABOUT-THE-COURT/County-Department/Domestic-Relations-Division/For-People-Without-Lawyers/Filing-and-Answering-a-Divorce-Petition

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+IV&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=3900000&SeqEnd=5400000

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