Getting a divorce can feel overwhelming and emotionally taxing, especially if someone makes the decision before you can. If you are thinking about ending your marriage by filing a divorce, you might be wondering if you must file a petition first. However, who files first doesn’t matter in the state of Wisconsin. Preferential treatment is not given to the petitioner or the spouse who filed the divorce petition. Family court judges take into account both sides fairly and equally. In addition, Wisconsin is a community property state, thus, every spouse gets half of the value of assets and property acquired in the course of their marriage. But filing for divorce first can have some benefits. Learn more about these below:
Setting the for the Process
The spouse who files for divorce first can try to file for an uncontested divorce, starting off the divorce process with amicable negotiations. Your divorce petition will contain your statement on why you want a divorce. The petition’s allegations are the first information regarding your case that a judge will get to see, giving them the impression of the ending relationship.
Picking the County to Have the Proceedings In
If you and your spouse have been separated and the latter has relocated to a different city in Wisconsin or another state, you can bring the proceedings to your county. This makes the process easier for you. Also, you can choose to file for divorce in the county where your spouse lives when this gives you some sort of benefit. As the petitioner, you can decide the venue according to what’s best for your case.
Having More Time to Prepare
By filing a divorce petition first, you can have more time to gather financial records, communication records, property information, and other information your spouse may want to hide from you once they discover your intention to file for divorce. You and your lawyer can strategize and create a great plan of action.
Getting the Chance to Ask for Temporary Orders
By filing for divorce first, you can decide when your arguments on requesting temporary court orders. For instance, if you no longer trust your spouse with marital money or property, you can get control over such assets when you file for divorce first. You can file a court petition asking the court to keep your spouse from making financial or business decisions while the divorce process is ongoing. Such action can prevent your spouse from transferring property liquidating assets, or trying to keep assets hidden.