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Should You File For Divorce Before Your Spouse?

Should You File For Divorce Before Your Spouse

Depending on your situation, it could really matter whether you or your spouse file for divorce first. Sometimes, certain factors in your overall settlement may be influenced depending on who initiated the divorce proceedings.

Often, the spouse that files for divorce may have more perceived control over the divorce process because they have had additional time to prepare. Because they determined when the divorce would begin, it may appear that the spouse who files was able to assemble the best, most skilled team of lawyers to advise and guide them.

The spouse who files for divorce may also have time to make necessary financial preparations, such as saving to pay their attorney, strengthening their credit score and being able to sort through all financial documents related to their case. Filing first may also allow for a spouse to prevent their partner from hiding assets, documents or other evidence relevant to your negotiations.

Filing first may also determine where your divorce proceedings are held. If you and your spouse live in different counties or even different states, the jurisdiction in which your divorce is filed could have a significant impact on your settlement outcome.

Additionally, by filing for divorce before your spouse, you may be first to present your case if your divorce ends up in a trial. This could have positive or negative implications on your divorce attorney’s strategy, thus it is worth speaking with a legal advisor before entering into a divorce.

Finally, the member of the couple who files for divorce may include certain grounds for divorce in their initial paperwork that sway the perception of a case. For example, a husband may note that he is filing for divorce because his wife committed adultery. Even if this claim turns out to be untrue, the allegation may set the tone for the rest of the divorce proceedings.

Asset Protection: Should You Care About Bitcoin?

In the past year, Bitcoin has become a household word. If heading for divorce, should you care about alternative currencies?

During 2013, the United States Senate began an investigation into the value and theory of alternative currencies like Bitcoin. Despite wild fluctuations in price, an agent for the Secret Service testified at a November hearing before the Senate “[t]here are plenty of opportunities for digital currencies to operate within existing laws and regulations.”

Whether Bitcoin can hold value and serve as a reliable medium of exchange in the future remains to be seen. It seems likely Bitcoin or another currency may take hold, providing novel financial services that become standard as PayPal did in the past.

So what does Bitcoin have to do with divorce?

Hiding assets during divorce is nothing new. Money may be surreptitiously removed from the divorce process through a number of means, including:

  • Hidden financial accounts created to hold wealth
  • Delay of bonus or wage increases
  • Overpayment of tax obligations
  • Money funneled into purchase of valuable objects
  • Funds siphoned to family and friends until after divorce

During divorce, both parties are required to disclose all assets. Spouses inclined to hide money may not be deterred by legal requirements, but at present, there are real roadblocks to using Bitcoin to hide marital wealth, including:

  • Variable value. Money invested in Bitcoin may not hold value for a spouse attempting to hide assets.
  • Difficulty of exchange. If transferred to another holder, Bitcoin may be difficult to retrieve.
  • Lack of regulation. There is little legal recourse if a Bitcoin transaction goes bad.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will fight for you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506