Typically, at least one spouse knows the marriage is headed for divorce before anyone actually files divorce papers. As the prospect of divorce becomes more of a reality, it is then natural for that spouse to wonder if they should file first, or if it matters.
Technically, Illinois is a no-fault divorce state. This means that one spouse does not have to prove the other person did anything wrong or was the reason the marriage broke down. One spouse must only have to state that there was a breakdown in the marital relationship and that there is little to no chance of reconciling. As such, many spouses think that it does not matter which person starts the proceedings. However, for spouses considering divorce, there are advantages in being the first to file.
Divorce often comes as a surprise to many people, but that is obviously not the case for the person that files first. By eliminating that element of surprise, the spouse that files first can collect copies of all the important financial documents that are needed during a divorce. These can include bank and investment account statements, life insurance policies, titles to property, and more. Being the first to file also allows spouses to save money, or apply for credit that can help them through the divorce process....