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Does It Matter Who Divorces Whom?

Divorce is never an easy situation to go through. There are many things to consider, on top of the emotional stress one has to overcome before, during, and after the whole ordeal.

A question many couples going through divorce ask is whether it matters who divorces whom. While the outcome will always come out that the couple will be separated legally no matter who initiates the divorce, it does matter who divorces whom.

When you weigh the advantages and disadvantages, the one who is divorced usually has more disadvantages for quite a few reasons. The person who files the divorce petition is usually the one who controls the speed of the proceedings, which could be inconvenient, especially if one of you plans to remarry. A clear disadvantage to being divorced is that you will usually be the one asked and ordered by the court to pay the legal fees that come with the divorce. While this sounds unfair, and even adds insult to injury, this ‘tradition’ of sorts was done with the idea that if you prove your case, you will reap rewards and be paid back the costs, even it does not always apply in the family justice system.

Some couples find a way to avoid having just one partner pay all the legal fees by agreeing or coming to a consensus that they will share whatever fees that the divorce will cost. This means that the partner who files the petition for a divorce will not seek an order for costs against the other. You are lucky if you find yourself in such a situation, because that means that your spouse is willing to look at matters from a very mature and fair point of view.

Another disadvantage to being the one divorced means you have to go through the ordeal of having a legal description of your behaviour, your private life and other private matters, most especially if your spouse bases the divorce on your unreasonable behaviour. This does nothing but add a lot of trauma to an already traumatic experience. What you can do, though, is to file an Answer to the allegations, forcing a compromise on the allegations made against you. This process can be quite inconvenient, and most couples will do their best to avoid going through this.

The good news is, who divorces who does not affect the other, more important matters concerning your divorce. While there are few disadvantages as cited above, being the one divorced does not affect your right to your children, or in financial matters, unless, of course, the Petition against you has something to do with your parenting skills, or how you treat your children, or how you handle your finances and other money-related issues. So make sure to check the Petition that your spouse filed, so that you’ll know what allegations he or she has made against you. Knowing what’s written in that petition will allow your counsel to prepare you for any situation that may arise.

To prevent going through all these troubles, and to spare yourself and your soon-to-be-former spouse the acrimony, is to offer the Petition in draft first before it is sent to the court. This way, you and your partner can discuss the matters written on the petition, especially those that may cause the other to get upset. This way, you can negotiate on the matters that will come up in court, and you can water down the other issues that you both have decided to present to the court. This is a good way to make sure that the entire process is fair to both parties.

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