Every couple dreams of marriage. Although the couple may feel complete and happy together at first, there are many challenges to a perfect marriage. Both spouses begin to feel something is wrong with one another. They will seek the lost connection to reclaim the loving marriage they previously had.


However, not all that has been damaged can be repaired, and complete separation will become the final option. However, many couples are reluctant to file for divorce initially. Some are uncertain if divorce is the best course of action. Still, others may not know where to start. The question is: “Does it matter who files first for divorce?”


Filing for Divorce in California – Should You File First?

In the legal battle of divorce, there are two parties involved, the Petitioner and the Respondent. The Petitioner is the person filing for divorce. At the same time, the Respondent is the party that will receive and must reply to the petition.


Any couple can file a petition or be the Respondent in this case. However, neither party has an advantage. It is just a question of who wants to take the initial move toward divorce.


This article will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of filing for divorce first. Thus, it will serve as a guide for the actions you should follow if you want to file for divorce with the assistance of a divorce lawyer.


The Advantages of Filing First

These are just a few benefits that you can get if you decide to file your divorce first:


Decide for the Timeframe and Jurisdiction

The Petitioner or the spouse who files first for a divorce will set the court dates and determine the venue of the proceedings. The Petitioner alone has the authority to choose the period and jurisdiction that the Respondent must adhere to. It is essential to identify the location of the proceedings so that you can pick the ideal location with the most favorable ruling on child custody and asset distribution.


In general, the Petitioner has control over the pace of the procedures. It is essential if the Respondent fails to submit a Response within 30 days of serving the Petition. The court may declare a default against the Respondent and continue without him or her.


Gather The First Necessary Documentation and Witnesses

Not only does planning for divorce early enable you to get the appropriate legal counsel and collect the required papers, but it also helps you to save money. Additionally, it may deter your spouse from concealing money or assets before the breakup.


Make sure you keep all your documents organized and securely stored. Suppose you plan to store the documents and records electronically. In that case, you should use only the computer and storage devices accessible to you.


Get Financial Benefits

It is crucial to saving money for future divorce proceedings to cover legal costs and any additional assistance you may need. You can start to save money for your divorce and obtain a line of credit to help you get through the next few months. It is essential to have a credit card under your name alone since getting one during the divorce process could be more difficult or, worse, impossible.


When a spouse becomes aware that a divorce is impending, he or she may try to conceal financial assets. While concealing assets has legal ramifications, some couples are prepared to accept the risk to avoid having their assets revealed and divided after the ruling.


Present First Your Story

In certain circumstances, the court will review the initial documents submitted. Then, you will have the opportunity to be the first to state your case in court. It allows you to present your side of the story before your partner. It enables you to discuss your experiences and facts calmly without having to react quickly to your spouse’s statements. Additionally, you will often dispute what your spouse says after their presentation.

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Prepare Yourself Emotionally

Divorce is a highly emotional experience. When individuals are emotionally vulnerable, they make snap judgements, which eventually result in regrettable choices. These choices may have a significant impact on the divorce. You don’t want to do anything that may be used against you by your spouse.


Get the Best Divorce Lawyer Filing

The best thing about filing for divorce first is meeting with multiple divorce lawyers before you choose one. It is an offensive move instead of a defensive one. You should seek legal advice immediately if you expect any conflicts regarding child custody or property division. The sooner you seek legal advice, the better equipped you will be to handle any resulting problems.


The Disadvantages of Filing First

While there are some advantages to being the first to file for divorce, there can also be disadvantages. Here are some possible disadvantages to filing for divorce first:


Notify Your Spouse of Your Demands

You must usually list your wishes or demands when you file a Divorce Petition. This information is available to the other party to be examined at the time that they are served. It enables them to precisely ascertain what you want and plan a response.


Spend More on Legal Fees

A filing fee may be due to the first person who files for divorce. If your lawyer is busy collecting information, you might have to pay more attorney fees because you are the first to file.


Eliminate Possible Reconciliation

The Divorce Petition can be used to eliminate possible reconciliation between the couple. The petition will give rise to more conflicts between the couple as the divorce case progresses.


Final Thoughts

Does It matter who seeks legal separation first?
Well, there is no definite answer for that. Whether you are the Petitioner, who files the divorce first or the Respondent, both positions have advantages and disadvantages. 


Being legally represented by the finest divorce lawyer in the state can help you better comprehend the benefits and drawbacks of filing first for a divorce. Your legal counsel will assist you in strategizing your position as the Petitioner and guiding you through the divorce process.


If you find that your marriage has no spark anymore and you are considering filing for a divorce, speak with the experts on California divorce laws. The Law Offices of Leon F. Bennett has established its reputation in many courtrooms and continues to offer more legal services to its clients. Contact Us Now and Know What Is The First Step You Need To Take.