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Hubby has told me that he wants to separate and had printed out separation papers a few months ago. He wants me to go to a lawyer to file my own papers as he does not have the money for a lawyer.

My question, does it matter who files? He is the one that wants to divorce/separation; where by I want to work on this relationship and get back into counseling. On one hand I feel if he's given up, what is the point of me trying to make it work???

I originally feel that if he wants to separate he should file the papers. However, because he has no money for a lawyer he wants me to--to ensure "I won't think he's taking advantage of me" if he files without a lawyer.

Comments/Input?

Thanks!
 

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It depends on where you live and if you have kids. In some areas of the US, you can "judge shop" and actually choose the venue of the divorce. That can make a huge difference in child custody. Where I live, there are 5 choices of a judge with views ranging from automatic 50/50 to stay with mom even if she is a cheater. If I had filed first I would have saved THOUSANDS of dollars and heartache.
 

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Why would you go hire a lawyer, pay for it, and file for divorce if you don't want to divorce? Let him do it and if he doesn't have the money than that's his problem. He's the one that wants to leave.

My wife doesn't want to divorce either and I do. So she wouldn't sign papers to do it w/o lawyers or even uncontested. Now I have to pay a lawyer to file contested. I wouldn't expect her to go out and do it for me. I saved up the money to pay my lawyer. I have no idea how she's going to pay hers when the time comes. She doesn't work (and refuses to), we don't have credit cards or enough savings. She's probably going to borrow it from her parents.
 

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Thanks for the input.

We are in Massachusetts with no kids. He says he doesn't want anything and as he doesn't work either I certainly don't want the lawyer to say I have to pay spousal support!
 

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With me I didn't want to file because of the kids. I didn't want them to ever think that it was my fault their mom tore us apart. I also would have worked on the marriage as much as possible but my wife was done so it is over.

Still going thru my journey.

So with the limited info you posted I would not file. I don't even think you really need a lawyer so your husband is dragging his feet.
 

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Thanks for the input.

We are in Massachusetts with no kids. He says he doesn't want anything and as he doesn't work either I certainly don't want the lawyer to say I have to pay spousal support!
You can bet he does want something! Don't file. He is the one wanting the divorce, he can file. However, you may have to take other steps to protect yourself financially/legally. Is it where he can run up debt on you? How about issues with IRS? That's where this can get tricky.
 

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We are in Massachusetts with no kids. He says he doesn't want anything and as he doesn't work either I certainly don't want the lawyer to say I have to pay spousal support!
If that is what he wants, I would have him sign and notorize that he: 1. Desires none of the marital assets or property and 2. Desires no spousal support now or in the future.

Use a lawyer to make the wording bullet proof, however, you do not need a lawyer to file. You can talk to the clerk of the court to get the correct forms.

Personally, I would go ahead and take his notorized agreement and file. If he is not into the relationship, counseling will be a waste of time. Both parties have to want to make it work. Why stagnate waiting for him when you can be moving forward with your life?
 

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Here in PA my lawyer told me it doesn't matter who files -- but as others have said its a psychological thing. I don't lose any rights, but my wife is the one who's leaving, so she has to get through that final hurdle. And also that final chance for me to say my peace if I did want to go the fault route (though in my case I've already decided to go the no fault get this woman out of my life ASAP route).

So check your state laws and ask a lawyer but I don't think it matters -- we don't have kids either so maybe it does matter for custody, but didn't matter otherwise.
 

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I have heard that the person who files first is somehow at an advantage. I am not sure why. I sometimes go to the library and read divorce books. In my state, I also read that if you go to a lawyer, even if it's for a divorce consultation then your spouse can't go to that firm. So they suggest that you purposely go to the best lawyer in town, or the one your spouse would want to represent them, get a consult, and then even if you don't choose them as your lawyer, then your spouse cant use them either. ;) Im from NY, and the book I read was written by a Judge.
 

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The whole lawyer thing was popularized on the Sopranos where you go see all the best divorce lawyers in town as a pre-emptive strike so the other person can't see them. I believe that part is true.

I've been told multiple times (at least without kids) that it doesn't matter who files for the divorce.
 

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Here in VA it doesn't really matter who files first either. Even for custody you will be forced into mediation by the court at the first hearing anyway unless there is abuse or DV involved in the case.

To the OP, your divorce must be done right since you are the "moneyed" spouse. You have an advantage and a disadvantage. Your advantage is that he can't afford a lawyer and your disadvantage is that if he ever finds the money to hire a lawyer you will find yourself paying HIGH spousal support. I would encourage you not to take this to the courthouse until your husband gets some kind of income. Absent this, you will want to settle out of court if you can. Cut your husband off financially as much as you can to encourage him to get a job. It's not your responsibility to support another grown adult. Plus he needs to see what life without you is truly like.
 
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