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Some people may feel they are giving up when they file for divorce, even when they’ve been unhappy for many years. However, taking the initiative for filing for divorce can mean taking control of your life and setting yourself up for a better future.

Filing first may keep your spouse from manipulating the outcome

Unscrupulous spouses may try to hide money, empty joint bank accounts or intentionally waste or destroy marital assets in anticipation of filing for divorce. Some will destroy financial records, so it’s harder to locate assets or prove that there were marital funds that didn’t benefit both partners in the marriage.

When you file, that means you choose the timing and have the opportunity to collect all of the necessary documentation before your spouse has the opportunity to hide what is rightfully yours.

Filing first lets you strategize for the outcome you want

When first served with divorce papers, some people make snap decisions based on their emotions. Anger, fear or sadness can result in poor choices. By having the ball in your court from the start, you can mentally prepare yourself for the emotional aspects of filing.

Whether your goal is to stay in your marital home, secure joint custody of your children or protect your ownership interest in a business, you have the opportunity to formulate a strategy with the help of an experienced legal advisor prior to filing. That can help set you up for successfully achieving your desired outcome in a divorce.