If you are expecting a relatively simple and low-conflict divorce, it probably does not matter whether you or your spouse initially file for divorce. However, if you believe that your divorce may involve a contentious court case or custody battle, it could be slightly advantageous to file for divorce.
What are the advantages of filing for divorce? Being the petitioner (the person who files for divorce) instead of the respondent allows you to better set the pace for the coming divorce, especially when it comes to temporary orders regarding child support, alimony, and protection orders. The petitioner also gets to cite the reason for divorce, which the respondent may or may not agree with. Finally, a petitioner may simply feel empowered by being the one to file for divorce – especially if the person filing for divorce has felt a lack of control in the final years of marriage.
None of these advantages are likely to change the outcome of the divorce significantly. To learn more about your own divorce case and whether there may be a good reason to file your Washington State divorce first, contact a Bellevue divorce attorney at our law offices today to discuss your case.