Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First in California?

lawyer showing man divorce papers

Whether you and your spouse have talked about it or they aren’t aware that you want to end your marriage, understanding what happens when someone files for divorce first is critical. Unfortunately, many are unsure of the reality of this situation, often assuming the person who files first will automatically receive a better outcome. In reality, it only offers slight advantages to the filer. Keep reading to learn how a Los Angeles divorce attorney can help you through these complex matters.

Will Our Divorce Change Depending on Who Files First?

In general, your divorce will proceed as usual, regardless of who files first. This is because California is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning a party does not need to prove wrongdoing on behalf of their spouse for a divorce to be granted. As such, either party can file for divorce first on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences,” so long as they meet the residency requirements in California.

It’s important to understand that even though your divorce will not change based on which party files for divorce first, there are some advantages to the party that chooses to.

What Are the Advantages of Filing First?

Generally, there are some advantages to being the party to file for divorce first in California. One of the most important decisions is that you have a choice over the jurisdiction where your case will take place if you and your spouse currently live in different locations.

Additionally, this allows you better time to prepare for the divorce. Before filing, you can take as much time as you need to think about what you want to request in the petition and set aside money for divorce costs. However, if you were served divorce papers, you’d only have 30 days to respond to your spouse’s petition.

Finally, if you and your spouse decide to work things out or you change your mind about the divorce for whatever reason, you have the right to withdraw the petition as the filer.

Should I Connect With a Divorce Attorney?

When considering divorce, it’s imperative to think about the advantages of working with a lawyer for this process. Unfortunately, many people assume they can navigate this process on their own, which is far from the truth. In reality, filing for divorce is a difficult legal process, which becomes even more complicated for high-net-worth individuals with complex assets.

Deciding to file for a divorce can be an overwhelming and complex matter. As such, it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney to help guide you through this process. Not only can the team at the Zitser Family Law Group help fight for the best possible outcome for your divorce, but they can also handle the legal aspect so you can focus on healing from these complex matters. Connect with us today to learn how we can assist you through these matters.

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