By Sara Pitcher
The decision to end a marriage is one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever have to make.
Only when you truly believe your marriage cannot be saved, then you should begin considering the many factors that determine when is the best time to file for divorce.
You may wish to consider whether you believe you will acquire substantial property, including assets or debt in the near future. In most states, any property acquired during the marriage is subject to an equitable division.
Further, the court will look at the best interests of the children in making a child custody and parenting time decision.
If you believe you will be in a better position to seek custody based on your time spent with the children or available to spend with them may change in the future, then this may be a factor you consider in determining when you wish to file for divorce.
Also, sometimes courts will allow older children to communicate their desires for custody or parenting time to the court. If your children want to live with you and may reach a significant age milestone, such as 14 years old where I practice, then you may wish to delay filing until some of your children will be old enough to express his or her desires to the court.
It is also important to consider whether your state may award alimony or spousal maintenance based on the duration of the marriage and whether you may be in a position to receive it or if you expect you may have to pay it based on your expected income when you complete school.
Advantages of Filing First
Waiting for your wife to file for divorce is one of “The 10 Stupidest Mistakes Men Make When Facing Divorce,” according to the book by Cordell & Cordell co-founder Joseph Cordell.
Mr. Cordell explains:
“I explained to [my client], as my lawyers have explained to thousands of men, why it is advantageous — and often crucial — to be the one to file for the divorce. There are legal advantages, both in and out of court, whether the divorce agreement is settled or whether it goes to trial.
Filing first can give [men] better terms from the very start, when the judge issues temporary orders setting the financial support and custody arrangements while the divorce is pending. Filing first can also mean a better deal for the dad in the final divorce decree.”
Your best recourse would be to seek out immediate legal assistance from a men’s divorce attorney who focuses on domestic litigation, such as the lawyers at Cordell & Cordell.