For many couples, divorce begins with a waiting game. Neither spouse thinks the relationship will last for the rest of their lives anymore, but neither one wants to seem like the villain in the story by making the decision to file for divorce.
Some people stay miserable in unhealthy marriages for years as they wait for their spouse to choose divorce. The stress and unhappiness that couples experience when they stay together out of stubbornness are bad not only for them but often also for the children that they may have with one another. Although it can be hard to make the decision to file for divorce, there are actually benefits that result from being the one to act first.
An opportunity to collect documentation
Obtaining a fair outcome in a divorce, especially if things become heated between the spouses, requires accurate information about the household finances. From tax returns to records of household bills and bank statements, there are many kinds of financial records that people need to obtain during the divorce process. It can be time-consuming and expensive to do so through legal avenues like discovery during the divorce process. Those who decide to file on their own can gather the paperwork they need ahead of time.
A chance to suggest the terms they want
Those filing initial paperwork with the courts can put together a suggested settlement regarding shared property and any custody matters that the couple would need to address. In other words, they establish the starting point for settlement negotiations. In a scenario where the spouse served with divorce paperwork does not counter the suggestions or respond to the filing, the courts may potentially grant someone the exact terms they requested. Although divorce by default is not common, it is still beneficial for those preparing for divorce to set achievable goals for themselves.
As a final note, those who make the decision to file divorce paperwork will also have control over the timing, which can mean that they can avoid a situation that might affect a child’s birthday or their performance on an upcoming work project.
Understanding why people make the decision to take the first move and file for divorce instead of waiting for their spouse to do so can potentially benefit those who are contemplating the end of an unhappy marriage.