Is it Better to be the First One to File for Divorce?

If you and your spouse are trekking on rocky ground and you believe a divorce is on the horizon as it has been brought up multiple times recently, you may be wondering if you should be the first one to take the leap and file the paperwork to initiate the process. While we can’t be the ones to say “yes, filing first is the best option,” what we can do is provide you with some of the advantages you gain when you decide to be the first one to file which can then help you make your decision. Some of these advantages include:

1. When you file for divorce first, you have more time to “assemble the right team of qualified experts” [Source: Forbes]. This team of experts might include:



  • A divorce financial analyst. You might consider hiring a divorce financial analyst if you and your spouse have acquired a significant amount in assets or opened one or more businesses together that are still accruing income.


  • A therapist. Divorces can be some of the hardest times for certain individuals, especially for those who have been married to their spouse for several years and/or have children with them. Therefore, sometimes it might help to hire a therapist going into the divorce so that you have additional support from the moment the process starts all the way until your divorce is finalized.


2. When you know you are going to be the first to file for divorce, then you have time to gather all the essential documents you will need. Some of the documents Forbes recommends you gather include:

  • Bank and brokerage statements
  • Tax returns
  • Real estate records
  • Vehicle registrations
  • Retirement account statements
  • Insurance policies
  • Will and trusts


Now, these are only some of the documents you will want to gather up, however, a MI divorce lawyer can also provide you with a detailed list of the others you will want to locate so you have everything that you need before the divorce even begins.


  1. Filing first gives you time to save money and even acquire access to credit if you don’t have it already. Divorces can be expensive depending on your circumstances so if you don’t have any money saved up, you might want to start putting some away now so that when you do start the process, you aren’t scrounging for the funds to afford your divorce team, most importantly your divorce attorney, and the other additional expenses you will incur.


divorce attorneys in Lansing, Michigan

If you are considering filing for divorce and you live in or nearby to Lansing, MI, contact the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. to find out more about the process and what steps you will need to take.

Because everyone’s situation differs from one another, there may actually be some other benefits to filing for divorce first, however, we recommend you consult with Lansing, MI divorce lawyer Stuart R. Shafer to find out what these are. Attorney Stuart R. Shafer has over 43 years of experience in the legal field and is more than qualified to provide you with all the information you need along with the representation you will want when it comes time to start the divorce process.


You can reach the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. at:


1223 Turner Street, #333

Lansing, MI 48906