Advantages to filing first in divorce

We often get contacted by women who have left their husbands, moved and wish to file for divorce. Perhaps they move closer to family or returned to the area they lived in prior to getting married. Once there, they find that there is a waiting period to establish residency and in the meantime their husbands file for the divorce making them the defendant and him the plaintiff.

When going through a divorce it is adventageous to be around family for support.  Assistance watching the kids while you work, or look for employment, or go to school, can be a huge help. Having a strong support system is also important.  Women who have strong support systems fair better in the long run then women who don’t have anyone to give them a hand, console them when they are down, and talk sense to them when they get off track due to the emotional rollercoaster of divorce.

If you move out of the state of Michigan you will need to check the residency requirements of the state you have moved to.  In Michigan, you must reside within the state for a period of six months before you can file for divorce in the state.  If you are aware of this ahead of time it might be better to file for divorce before moving.

It is much more common to move to another county within the same state.  Many women are not aware that there is also a requirement to live within the county for a period of ten, consecutive days before filing for divorce.  Knowing the residency requirements  allows you to time your move and filing for divorce to allow you to file first.  Instead of leaving and stating your intentions to divorce, you might simply say you need space to think.  This gives you the ten days to establish residency before filing.  Should your case go to trial, Plaintiff’s present their case first, Defendant then presents their case and then the Plaintiff is given an opportunity to rebutt their testimony.   Also, if you file for the divorce, your spouse will have to respond to your filing.  Both give you a psychological advantage, which may be important, if you are in a relationship where you have a controlling spouse.

Nothing herein constitutes a legal opinion.





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