Advantages of Filing for Divorce First
Many clients who are considering the prospect of divorce ask whether it is better to be the one who files, or if it is better to be the party to respond. For divorce cases the answer is clear: There are advantages of filing for divorce first. In legal terminology, the person who files is known as the plaintiff, the respondent is called the defendant. Being the plaintiff in your divorce gives you several key advantages, even if your divorce is likely to be amicable. Below, we discuss several of the benefits of being the party who files the complaint for divorce.
Hiring the Best Las Vegas Divorce Attorney for You
After your attempts at reconciliation are unsuccessful and you know that divorce is inevitable, you need hire the best Las Vegas divorce attorney for your case before your spouse contacts the same attorney. If your divorce case is complex, especially with financial or child custody issues, there is a finite set of divorce lawyers in Las Vegas qualified for such matters. It is not uncommon for our office to be contacted by both divorcing spouses at different times. After one party receives a formal consultation from one of our divorce law specialist attorneys, we cannot speak to the other spouse. In fact, we will not even respond to their requests for contact.
Control the Timing of Your Divorce Case
Filing the complaint for divorce means that you know the timing of the case, giving you the chance to secure knowledgeable and effective legal representation as well as to collect all of the documentation you will need to pursue your case. You and your Las Vegas divorce attorney can prepare to track down bank and brokerage account statements, real estate records, vehicle registrations, insurance policies, wills and trusts, etc. so that you can hit the ground running in your divorce proceeding.
Get in the First Word
By filing the complaint for divorce, and thus being the plaintiff, you get to set the stage for the proceedings. The family court will read your complaint for divorce first, meaning you can highlight your side of the case before your spouse gets to make their defensive arguments. At court hearings and at trial, you will likewise get to present your case first, letting you frame the evidence, issues, and arguments in the manner most favorable to you. As a side note, only a small percentage of divorce cases go to trial. However, being the plaintiff at trial if it does occur is a distinct advantage.
Possibly Choosing the Venue
When you file a divorce case, you may have the opportunity to file in a jurisdiction that is to your advantage. Divorce filings are valid in a jurisdiction in which one of the spouses resides, assuming residency requirements are met. If you live in the same city, the venue is not much of a question. However, if you and your spouse live in different states, or if you spend equal time in different homes in different counties within the same state, then there may be more than one venue option available to you. You may want to take advantage of filing for divorce in your home county, rather than where your spouse lives, to avoid having to travel for court appearances. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages with your divorce attorney, and file in the jurisdiction that is most favorable to you.
Prevent Your Spouse from Hiding Assets
Wealthy spouses who sense a divorce filing may try to hide assets in offshore accounts and other hard-to-reach locations. Hiding assets in a divorce is not only dishonest; it is always looked upon negatively by the family courts. Regardless, many spouses try to do so in order to gain an unfair financial advantage or get one over on their soon-to-be ex. By filing first, you can take advantage of the element of surprise, preventing your spouse from undergoing any shady dealings with property sales or asset transfers.
Get Relief Sooner
If you are in need of immediate relief because of your spouse’s actions, filing the complaint for divorce gives you the chance to get relief as soon as possible. If your spouse is preventing you from access to marital assets, or if they pose a domestic violence risk, you can ask for a court order to protect yourself and your family. If you are separated from your spouse and you need spousal or child support, you can request temporary support while the divorce is pending. The sooner you file, the sooner you can get a court order for what you need.
Trusted Legal Representation for Your Las Vegas Divorce
Talk to one of our divorce law experts to discuss the best approach for your divorce matter. Our State Bar of Nevada Board Certified divorce lawyers will bring experience and dedication to bear in guiding you through all aspects of your divorce, from temporary spousal support, alimony and property division, to child custody issues. They are well-versed in even the most complex and sensitive divorce issues. Both Jennifer V. Abrams and Vincent Mayo offer courtesy phone consultations at no charge. Call 702-222-4021 to speak directly with one of them about your important divorce law issues.
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