Sometimes it does not matter who files first in a divorce situation.
It can matter if you and your children are living in the same place, and you want to freeze that status quo in place. It can even matter if you and your children were living together recently, but your spouse just moved from your joint home with the children, or just took the children from your home.
It can also matter if this means that you or your lawyer will have to drive a long way to attend court in a different county.
In many other cases, the disadvantages of not being the person who files for divorce, and becomes the Petitioner, can be less significant.
One risk that is sometimes ignored is the risk that you might expend a significant amount of money having your lawyer prepare documents expecting to file as the Petitioner, but then find that many of these documents need to be abandoned, with a new set of pleadings in which you are the Respondent, and in which you are responding to the relief requested by the other side, needing to be created and substituted for the documents that were not filed in court before the other side filed in court.
Steven A. Heinrich
Divorce & Custody
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