Does It Matter Who Files For Divorce First?

Does It Matter Who Files For Divorce First?

Many times I am asked if there is a difference if one spouse files for divorce before the other.

If we look to what the court say about this, you will see that they indicate that normally it does not matter who is the first person to file the divorce papers.

This is because the court does not give an preference to the first person who files for divorce nor do the courts give any disadvantage to the person who is the respondent.  So it could be as much as simply using the terms Petitioner and Respondent to identify the parties only.

Because California is a No-Fault Divorce State, the Petitioner can be either of the parties.  A divorce filing in California does not have to be initiated by any specific person in the marriage.  It could be the spouse who feels the other is the reason for divorce or themselves.

When it comes to filing for divorce in uncontested matters, sometimes it is best to talk to your spouse  about who should be the Petitioner and file the initial divorce documents and who should be the Respondent.

Because part of the divorce process involves the Respondent to be served with divorce papers, it may make sense to have a conversation about who should file and who will be served.  To keep the divorce process going smoothly, the spouses should speak and determine who is going to take on this role.

Regardless if your are the Petitioner or Respondent, you will have the same opportunity to prepare all the same documents as the other party.

Give us a call for more information about the divorce process and who should file first.  We can often speak to both spouses and help make the determination of who might be best to be the first to file the divorce documents.

We provide affordable divorce services throughout California.  We are headquartered in Santa Clarita, Ca and serve all the Courts.