Taking the plunge and filing for your divorce is a big step. But, being the one to do it can come with its rewards.

Here are a few reasons why you should be the one to file for divorce — not your ex.

Setting the terms of the divorce

Creating a divorce complaint puts a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. For example, you’ll need to:

  • Tell the courts why you want a divorce (at-fault or no-fault)
  • Fill out an income and expense statement
  • Declare ownership of property and debt
  • Choose a parenting plan

Your ex, on the other hand, will only need to attend court or mediation sessions to negotiate these terms. However, if he or she does not acknowledge your divorce complaint once he or she is served, the courts are likely to accept the terms you initially set in the complaint.

In any case, you’re likely to have a better understanding of the issues that will be covered during the divorce and how you’d like to handle them by taking this step.

Choosing the best attorney

Lawyers must follow a code of ethics that mandates they do not handle a case for which they’d have a conflict of interest. That means if you have a consultation with a lawyer about potentially representing you in your divorce, your ex will not be able to hire that lawyer.

By exploring your options for legal representation early on, you have a better chance of choosing the best attorney for your case. An attorney can help you create the divorce complaint, make negotiations in your favor during proceedings and file all of the coinciding paperwork.

Knowing what happens next

It’s common for people to procrastinate decisions and tasks that will make a big impact. Getting a divorce will surely make a huge impact on your life but putting it off will only make you more anxious about it.

By planning ahead, you’ll feel more confident in the next steps you need to take to get this over with and move forward.