In the big picture, no, it does not matter who files divorce first. However, if you take a deeper look, you’ll find that there are some advantages to being the one who starts the process.
First, you can set out what you would like in the divorce petition, and your spouse would file a response including what they want (if it is different). This puts you in a proactive position instead of a reactive one. In some cases, this makes no difference – for instance, if you and your spouse agree on all relevant matters – but in others, it might give you an advantage.
If you and your spouse are unable to settle property division, support, or child custody, and the case needs to go before the judge, the petitioner is basically on the “affirmative” and gets to present their case first. Most lawyers will tell you this is ideal, though if your spouse filed first, your Huntington Beach divorce attorney can still represent your rights.
If you are the petitioner of the divorce, you can immediately ask the court for temporary orders before your spouse is even notified of the divorce. These temporary orders could be for child custody or financial support while the divorce is pending. Temporary orders are possible even if you are the respondent to the petition, however, so this is not always a reason to rush to file first.
Pick Any Lawyer You Want
If you begin the process without your spouse involved, you can choose your lawyer first. It is always wise for divorcing spouses to each have their own attorney advising them of their rights, and if you file first, you can choose your representation first, as well.
Looking for a Huntington Beach Divorce Attorney?
Furubotten Law, a team of dedicated Huntington Beach divorce attorneys, is happy to provide legal advice and assistance if you are considering divorce. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.