“Should I file first for divorce?”
“I am worried that my spouse my file for divorce before I do?”
Sound like a question you have asked or at least wondered about?
It’s actually pretty common for California spouses to ask this question. First, let’s agree on one thing. No one should rush into a divorce. Talk to any experienced and intelligent divorce lawyer and he or she will likely tell you exactly that unless there is a compelling reason to file immediately, such as a threat of physical harm that requires a restraining order or the need to obtain court orders to protect children, money or property.
So who should file first? You or your spouse? Let’s take a closer look.
A divorce filing is often equated with “picking a fight.” The mentality is, if you file for divorce first, then you’re the one who wanted it and therefore you’re somehow the bad guy or girl. This concerns spouses and make them hesitate to file even when they know that the marriage is over and divorce is inevitable. The other side of this coin is that if you file first, you get to control the process because you are the petitioner.
But does the Judge care? Is there a tactical advantage to filing first or waiting for your husband or wife to do so? The short answer is no but with a few exceptions. [Read more…]