It is not uncommon for a Missouri spouse to contemplate divorce for quite some time before asking their significant other for a divorce. In some cases, the one who was thinking about filing even learns that their spouse was thinking the exact same thing. However, if it can be helped, filing for divorce first is financially a good idea.
When thinking about divorce, even before bringing up the final decision to a significant other, this is also the time to start collecting information that is going to be used in the divorce, such as insurance information, bank account statements and tax returns. Collecting this information right away stops the other spouse from attempting to get in the way of collecting this necessary information.
During this time of setting information aside, now is also the time to start putting aside money for the expenses that will be associated with the divorce. Even in cases where the divorce is completely amicable, if children are involved there is going to be added expenses and there will always be filing fees. If the divorce is contested, the costs associated could be even higher.
Filing first also reduces the chances of the other spouse being able to hide any assets. Instead, just make sure all assets are documented beforehand.
Of course, this advice should not be taken to mean that it should be a race to filing for divorce first. Rather, if a Missouri spouse is pretty sure that divorce is going to be in their future, it simply will not hurt to start gathering information and resources ahead of time. Talking to an attorney beforehand can also help when it comes to questions that will surely arise.
Source: The Week, “Making money: Planning for divorce, and more,” Sergio Hernandez, April 8, 2013