Should I file even if I don't want the divorce?

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Should I file even if I don't want the divorce?

Unread postby dadsdivorce » Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:25 am

My question is simple my wife wants a divorce after only a few months of being married. I believe she is bipolar and/or has self-esteem problems. We have had an on and off relationship for the past 3 years. I would like us to go to counseling but she really does not think she has a problem. We have a 2 and half year old daughter that I love a great deal. I'm the one that takes care of her for the most part. My wife moved out last week and had taken our daughter with her. She moved to her mothers and said she was going to file for divorce. She said I can not see my daughter until I start paying child support. I do not believe she has filed for divorce. I still go over every day to see my daughter and for the most part she lets me. I don't know if it is because our daughter cries for me or if it's because she needs a break from her. Would it be in my best interest to file for divorce myself even though I don't want it? I don't want to lose my daughter and I believe she uses our daughter to hurt me. Do fathers have a better chance for custody if they file first?
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Unread postby dadsdivorce » Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:27 am

In my jurisdiction it really does not make a significant difference who files first. If you are not interested in a divorce you could seek a legal separation from your wife. The procedure is largely the same except in the end you are still married. However, the court still divides your assets, allocates debts, awards maintenance, child support and determines child custody. Further, if you do not want a divorce, but want some structure on the child custody issue, you can file a Motion for Determination of Father-Child Relationship (paternity action). If you file for divorce or legal separation you will likely need to include a count for paternity as the child was born out of wedlock a significant amount of time before the marriage. While not a statutory factor, I have found that fathers do slightly better in paternity cases if they file first.
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