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Divorce is a difficult decision, but, when that decision is made for you, it could be even more emotionally taxing. You might be debating whether it would be preferable for you to initiate the divorce process or to wait for your husband to do so. Legally, it makes no difference who files for separation first in Las Vegas. The individual who submits the divorce petition first, referred to as the petitioner, is not given any preference over the person who responds to the petition, referred to as the respondent. Judges must properly and equally weigh each side of a divorce case. In addition, Las Vegas is a community property state, this means that each spouse will get around half of the value of the assets accumulated during the course of the marriage. The court in a divorce proceedings treats all parties equally, although there are some tactical benefits to getting a divorce first.

In this we will go to answer the question: does it really matter who files a divorce first and also some benefits or advantages in filling first.

The importance of filing for divorce first

There are numerous factors to consider if divorce is something you’re considering you may also refer to NRS 125.010 to know the causes in much more detailed way. Lastly, who will file for divorce first is also one of the most crucial choices you’ll have to make.

The advantages of starting divorce proceedings are numerous. One benefit is that it shows you’re determined to dissolve the marriage. Additionally, it allows you the chance to direct the story right away. You get to choose how much information to reveal to your spouse and how you’ll spin it in your favor.

The surprise factor can also be used to your favor if you file for divorce first. Your partner won’t have anticipated it and might not be ready to live with the results. You may be significantly more advantageous in negotiations as a result.

Of course, there are several disadvantages to starting the divorce process initially. For starters, it might make you and your partner more hostile towards one another. Since you are the one who is starting the divorce, it could also be interpreted as a display of weakness.

There are benefits and disadvantages to starting the divorce proceedings initially. In the end, you should decide based on your particular circumstances. If you’re unsure about what to do, it is always a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer who can give you guidance.

Does it matter who files for the divorce first?

You should be aware that there isn’t always any benefit in filing for divorce first before hiring a divorce lawyer. But how does the court grant divorce on either party? For this you may refer to NRS 125.120. This advice definitely isn’t for you if your relationship with your spouse is generally good, but your marriage isn’t working out. You’ll want to carefully read this, though, if your marriage has reached the stage where you require a divorce attorney just to ask your partner to pass the salt.

A Surprise Factor Will Keep You Safe

Although divorce law isn’t flawless, it is made to try its best to protect the weak, especially those who have been the victims of domestic abuse. The decision to divorce first might occasionally make the difference between death and life. The longer you keep your spouse in the dark, the more time you have to go to court and get a restraining order until your spouse takes any strong action to stop it.

Priority In Finding A Lawyer

Filing first gives you priority in finding a lawyer.

Most of the time, even if your spouse decides not to deal with that lawyer, if your spouse consults the lawyer, that lawyer is legally unable to defend you against them. This could potentially result in discipline from the State Bar, depending on the standards of professional behavior for attorneys in your state.

When one partner wants to get dirty, they may interview every divorce attorney within a 100-mile radius in an effort to keep the other from getting a competent attorney. We would never encourage you to act in that manner, but if it seems like anything your spouse might do, it may be wise to take precautions to avoid falling prey to it.

If you reside in a small town or rural location with a low population density, it might still be a great idea to file for a divorce yourself, even if you believe your husband would never descend to that level. You have the right to take this straightforward action to ensure that you’re the party who has the chance to engage with the sole family law practice within easy driving distance.

You May Have Control Over the Separation Date If You File First

In some states, this does not apply to you unless you or your spouse are already living apart with no intention of getting back together. However, the court is likely to consider the day you file as the date of your formal separation if both you and your husband are still living together.

Why is this important? It could affect how your property is divided, after all. Money obtained before or after the date of your marriage is regarded as separate property, while money gained between the date of your marriage and the date of your separation is regarded as marital property. Only marital property is subject to division in places where there is a community of property, and it is always split equally. Whatever independent property you & your spouse earned separately, is immediately yours and your spouse’s.

The “equitable distribution” model of property partition, in which the court determines what is fair on a more comprehensive basis, is the one that is used in the majority of states. For this matter you may also check NRS 125.040 for more details. However, that does not imply that your separation date is unimportant. The court will continue to deem marital property division for some states with equitable distribution; they just may not divide it equally. Courts continue to be significantly more hesitant to transfer distinct property from one spouse to another in all other states with equitable distribution.

The spouse that files first may accuse the other of fault.

Skip to #5 if you’re filing for a divorce in one of these states instead: Wisconsin, Oregon, Nebraska, Montana,  Washington, Nevada, Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Hawaii, Kentucky, Kansas, Florida, Colorado, Michigan, or California. The biggest benefit of all, though, might apply to residents of the remaining 33 states.

If your spouse did something wrong, it could have a big beneficial impact on the outcome of your divorce in all but 17 states. That’s because the remaining 33 states mention a number of fault-based reasons for divorce, such as infidelity, abandonment, cruelty, and even incapacity. You should research your alternatives locally since the listings differ from state to state.

You will have the option to choose from the state’s list of blame grounds for divorce or claim that your divorce is the result of irreconcilable differences that are the fault of neither party when you file your divorce complaint. If you want to do so, you will have to establish your guilt in court just as you would with any other civil case. That sadly makes the divorce process much more difficult. But if you can convincingly demonstrate that, you’ll probably receive the best of the divorce terms.

Again, state laws differ, but typically the errant spouse is totally ineligible to receive spousal assistance (a.k.a. alimony), to know more please do refer NRS125.150 . In fewer instances, proven culpability may affect how the court decides on child custody arrangements or how to divide the assets you and the spouse own.

Filing first allows you to request temporary orders first.

The initial divorce filing can unleash a whirlwind of unpleasant feelings if a divorce is highly contested. Negotiations between both parties on how things will take place before the divorce becomes complete are not exactly made easier by this. Because of this, courts frequently issue preliminary orders at the start of the divorce procedure. These orders remain in place until a final agreement is achieved in court, through negotiations between your lawyers, or through divorce mediation.

These temporary orders may address issues such as who gets to stay in the marital residence, child custody, parenting time, and spousal and child support. In fact, a temporary custody order doesn’t always result in a permanent custody agreement, but you will use whatever advantage that can get to spend time with your children.

You have the first chance to ask the court for the specifics of the temporary orders once you file for a divorce first. After that, the court will arrange a hearing for temporary orders where your spouse is going to be able to make their case. However, getting the first word in may give you a little edge.

Disadvantages of Filing for Divorce First

Filing first may have sounded like a good idea after reading the list above, but it comes with costs. Let’s go through a few of the reasons that you may want to wait for before hiring a lawyer so that you have the most complete view of your options as possible.

You may be forced to pay the filing fee if you file first.

No matter if you hire the priciest attorney in your state or handle everything yourself, filing for divorce carries a certain basic fee in each of the 50 states. Depending on where you live, these costs might range from roughly $100 to about $450. (even by county, it varies in various states.). Whoever chooses to file a complaint may be forced to pay the entire amount because, regardless of the precise sum, it is payable at the moment of filing.

However, $100 is $100, and you certainly don’t want to spend that amount when the spouse would also be eager to, particularly when none of the aforementioned benefits truly apply to you. Hopefully, in the broad scheme of things, this won’t make or break you.

Remember that submitting the petition doesn’t always entail paying the whole filing fee. One option is that most states waive the fees, or you can decide on your own to divide them with your husband. You run the possibility of being forced to pay the entire cost, though, if you file first.

Filing First May Prevent More Fruitful Communication

As said above, there are situations when the only surefire option to protect yourself is to surprise your spouse with divorce papers. Instead of simply convincing oneself that your spouse would have to be able to see the indications, we advise you to have the unpleasant conversation if you know that they are a fundamentally reasonable person.

It takes fortitude to break up with your spouse in front of them; it goes beyond simple decency and courtesy. Additionally, it might result in a lot more amicable, peaceful divorce for the two of you. By doing this, you will demonstrate to your spouse that you’re entering this situation with good faith and a desire for justice, which will deter them from retaliating against you.

If you and your partner have children together, it is extremely crucial to keep your relationship strong. Talking things through could even assist. Don’t wait until your final remarks to express to your spouse your desire to see that your daughter or son emerges from the divorce still feeling like a member of the family. You can both keep your humanity during this entire process if you achieve that goal.

Does One Spouse Usually File First?

Depending on the laws in your state, you might be able to submit a “joint” petition for divorce (certain jurisdictions call it an uncontested but rather collaborative divorce), which signifies that both spouses have consented to both the divorce and all issues that would arise as a result of it. The divorce settlement agreement is drafted by the couple and submitted with the divorce petition. In many states, an uncontested divorce is quicker, cheaper, and less disruptive than one that is litigated.

Your settlement agreement for your divorce must be precise about:

  • the divorce’s reason or grounds
  • split of each spouse’s filing costs with the court
  • how you’ll split up your joint assets and debts
  • If one spouse will provide spousal support, how much and how long it will last.
  • Who will serve as the primary caretaker (custodial parent) for every minor child.
  • a schedule for such non-custodial parent’s parenting time or visits, and
  • The amount of child support that the non-custodial spouse will pay.

In most states, the court may approve a divorce if both partners agree to all of the terms in writing. The judge may be required by the court to thoroughly consider the terms before approval if minor children are involved. The court will still approve both custody and support plans as long as they are in the best interests of the kids.

Should You File A Divorce First?

Depending on the particular circumstances involved, every divorce case is different. Although it is typically preferable to file for divorce first, our divorce lawyers in Las Vegas will examine the specifics of your case to decide the best course of action. Give us a call if you’re wondering “should I file for divorce first?” and we can help you with the decision-making process. We will go over the factors that will affect your divorce, respond to your questions and problems, and help you decide what course of action is best for you in the long and short term.

When You Shouldn’t File For Divorce First

Divorce is a difficult decision to make and should not be taken lightly. Before you decide to file for divorce, it is important to consider the potential consequences of this major life decision. There are some scenarios in which it’s best not to file for divorce first, such as when:

1. You haven’t tried couples counseling or mediation yet. If there is still a chance that you can work out your differences with your spouse, going through counseling or mediation can help you determine if divorce is the right decision. It can also give you an opportunity to try and repair your relationship before taking the drastic step of filing for divorce.

2. You have children together. No matter how strained your relationship with your spouse might be, think about what kind of impact a divorce will have on your children. Even though it may seem like filing for divorce will put an end to all the arguments and disagreements between you and your spouse, it could also create even more stress and turmoil in their lives.

3. You and/or your spouse are not financially secure yet. Going through a divorce can be expensive, so if either one of you is financially unstable, then filing for divorce could cause further financial hardship. That being said, if you’re already struggling financially due to issues in your marriage, then it may be time to consider filing for divorce as a way to provide yourself with more financial security in the future.

Ultimately, filing for divorce should never be done on impulse or without carefully considering all the potential consequences that come along with this big decision. If any of the scenarios mentioned above apply to you, take some time to reflect before making any major life decisions like filing for divorce first.

How to cope with the decision of who should file for divorce first

When it comes to filing for divorce, it can be difficult to decide who should file first. It is important to consider all of the implications that filing for divorce will have on both parties. It is important to remember that no matter who files, the process of divorce can be emotionally and financially draining.

If you are struggling with this decision, here are some tips on how to cope with it:

1. Talk it through. Before making a decision, talk through the situation with your spouse. Make sure that you both understand each other’s feelings and perspectives on the issue. This will help ensure that both parties feel respected in the process and can help you come up with a mutually beneficial solution.

2. Consider the financial implications. When deciding who should file first, consider the financial implications of filing for divorce. Depending on your individual situation, there may be benefits or drawbacks to filing as soon as possible. Make sure that you understand any potential tax implications and plan accordingly.

3. Seek professional advice. Consider seeking professional advice from a lawyer or therapist before deciding who should file first in your divorce case. A professional will be able to provide an unbiased opinion about what would be best for your particular situation and can offer additional resources for emotional support during this difficult time.

4. Take time to reflect. Ultimately, the decision of who should file first in a divorce case is up to both spouses involved. Take some time to reflect on the situation before making a final decision and make sure that you are comfortable with whatever you decide.

No matter what decision is made about who should file first in a divorce case, it is essential to remember that the process of divorce can be emotionally taxing for both parties involved. Make sure that you take care of yourself by seeking out any necessary emotional or legal support throughout this difficult time so that you can better cope with this major life event.

How to file for divorce first

Divorce is never an easy decision to make, and the process of filing for divorce can be daunting. However, it is important to understand the steps involved to ensure that you are prepared for the difficult process ahead. Here are some tips on how to file for divorce first:

1. Gather Documents. Before you can start filing for divorce, it is essential that you have all the necessary documents required for the process. These documents may include financial records, marriage certificates, and any other relevant information about assets, debts, or other issues related to your marriage.

2. Choose a Divorce Method. There are different options when it comes to filing for divorce, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is important to research each method and decide which one best suits your needs before beginning the process. Depending on your state’s laws, you may be able to opt for a do-it-yourself divorce or hire an attorney to help with more complex issues.

3. File Your Petition. Once you have gathered all the necessary documents and decided on a method of filing, it is time to actually submit your petition for divorce. Depending on your state’s laws, this can be done either in person at the courthouse or through an online service. If you choose to do it in person, make sure you understand what forms need to be filled out and that all paperwork is properly completed before submission.

4. Serve Your Spouse. After submitting your petition for divorce, you must serve your spouse with court papers informing them that the divorce petition has been filed against them. Depending on where you live, this can be done by mail or personally by someone else, such as a sheriff or private process server from a local court office.

5. Attend Court Hearings. Once your spouse has been served with court papers, both parties will need to attend hearings in order for a judge to finalize the divorce decree and formalize the terms of settlement if needed. You may also refer at NRS 125.141 for this matter to know more. It is important to keep in mind that even after filing for divorce, there may be additional negotiations between parties before finalizing any agreements or settling any disputes over property division or child custody arrangements, if applicable.

Divorce is never an easy decision and filing for divorce can be emotionally draining and complicated, but understanding what steps are involved in filing can help ease some of these difficulties during this difficult time.

Divorce Lawyer


In conclusion, it is important to consider who files for divorce first as it can have a significant impact on the process. Being the first to file can give you an advantage in matters of child custody, spousal support and property division, so it is important to examine the circumstances of your situation and decide what is best for you. If you are considering filing for divorce, do not hesitate to seek legal advice to determine what is the most beneficial route for you.

Get help from a lawyer today

If you’re considering filing for divorce, you may be wondering if it matters who files first. The answer is: there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to who should file for divorce first. It ultimately depends on what is best for the individual’s situation. Though filing for divorce first gives you the opportunity to set the tone for negotiations and can give you an advantage in terms of custody arrangements and property division.

If you’re uncertain whether filing for divorce first is right for you, consider talking to legal counsel. This is where our law firm in Las Vegas, Donn W. Prokopius, Chtd, can help you through this difficult time. We have years of experience helping people through divorce, and we can help you too. Call us today on (702) 474-0500 to schedule a consultation. We’ll help you understand your options and make sure you’re getting the best possible outcome for your divorce case.

For more information on how can help you on your Divorce Mediation, please contact us at (702) 474-0500, or visit us here:

Donn W. Prokopius, Chtd.

6655 West Sahara avenue
Suite D220 (Building D)
Las Vegas, NV 89146

(702) 474-0500

Divorce Lawyer Las Vegas