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Filing for divorce seems like an unsavory task. Quite a few people play a waiting game when they already know that their marriage is destined to end because they don’t want to be the one to file.

Don’t fall victim to the idea that being the one to file for divorce means being the one who quits first. Instead, recognize such a situation for what it is, which is an opportunity. Filing for divorce first puts you in a position of control and allows you to plan things in a way that minimizes the disruption a divorce might cause to your life.

You have a chance to copy records

If you just wait for your spouse to serve you with divorce paperwork, it could happen at any time, like the Wednesday before your big business trip. You may not have any time to process the news, let alone plan for the future and take steps to protect yourself. By the time you get home, they may have already moved out.

When you file first, you can make sure that you have everything necessary managed already. Getting copies of necessary paperwork and making living arrangements for yourself are examples of steps that you can take when you know you intend to file. Your ex may make it hard for you to get income statements or taxes if you wait until after they file to get copies of these records.

You have the option of talking with your spouse directly

When people make up their minds to file for divorce, they often take their spouse by surprise, which can lead to increased resentment and anger during divorce proceedings.

Once you have already taken the necessary steps to protect yourself and gather critical documentation, you have the option of talking with your spouse about the fact that you want to file. You can potentially broach the topic of collaborative divorce or mediation as a way for you to more quickly and painlessly work to end your marriage. 

You have time to plan for the future

When you take the first step and decide to file for divorce, you can start focusing on a happier and healthier future for yourself. If you were to wait for your spouse to file, you likely won’t have concrete plans in place when the time comes. When you are the one who takes action, you have more control over the timeline and more of an ability to meet your own needs.