The Financial and Legal Advantages of Being First to File for Divorce
When your marriage is a troubled one, it’s common to consider divorce a long time before taking any definitive action. But once you feel confident that divorce is in your future, you should stop hesitating and start preparing. There are significant financial and legal advantages to being the first to file for divorce. Here’s what you need to know.
- You can begin financially preparing for the divorce
- You can begin collecting key documents
- You can hire and seek advice from your divorce team early
- You can tell your side of the story first
You can begin financially preparing for the divorce
Knowing that you’re going to file for divorce allows you to begin preparing financially. You can start drawing up the budget that you’ll need for your new life, as well as start setting aside money to cover divorce-related expenses. You can also begin to assess your family finances and marital property so that you have a clear idea about your assets and debt, and how you think they should be most fairly divided. Understanding the breadth of your assets also helps prevent your spouse from cheating you by hiding or failing to mention certain assets.
You can begin collecting key documents
To negotiate a fair divorce settlement, you will need to collect and safely store copies of all relevant financial and legal documents. Such documents include pay stubs, bank and brokerage statements, real estate deeds, retirement account and insurance policies, vehicle registration, tax returns, and other materials. It can take a significant amount of time to gather these documents, especially if your spouse is the one who handles most financial matters and holds the papers. If you file for divorce first, you won’t have to scramble to find these documents in response to your spouse’s divorce papers. Filing first also helps prevent your spouse from attempting to hide these documents from you.
You can hire and seek advice from your divorce team early
Your satisfaction with your divorce settlement is often dependent upon the quality of the divorce experts you engage. Having a well-qualified Singapore divorce lawyer, financial accountant, and even a good family counselor in place can help you start the divorce process on the right legal, financial, and emotional footing. If your spouse serves the divorce papers first, you might feel blindsided and rushed during your search for the right people to represent you.
You can tell your side of the story first
In Singapore, the divorce process officially begins when the Plaintiff files three documents: a “Writ of Divorce,” “Statement of Claim” and “Statement of Particulars.” The Writ of Divorce is the formal initiation of the process. The Statement of Claim is the document in which you specify the legal reason for the divorce (adultery, unreasonable behavior, etc.). The Statement of Particulars allows you to add more details about the specifics of your situation and why you’re seeking a divorce. Submitting these documents first will enable you to set the tone for the divorce and can frame your marital issues from your perspective.