Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First?
In many instances, divorcing spouses will race to file their paperwork with the court, believing that the spouse who files first will be afforded some type of advantage in the divorce proceedings. Although being the first one to file might have an emotional impact—the spouse who files first could feel like the “winner” in the divorce, and the other spouse could find him or herself scrambling to file a response—it doesn’t really have an impact on the case.
The order of filing determines how the spouses will be referred to throughout the divorce proceedings—the spouse who files first will be called the “petitioner” and the other spouse will be called the “respondent.” Also, the spouse who files first will likely be responsible for the court’s filing fees. Beyond that, however, the order of filing likely won’t affect the divorce. Florida is a no-fault state, so filing first won’t provide that spouse with a legal advantage.
Offering Representation for Clients in the Tampa Bay Area
If you’re considering filing for divorce, or if your spouse has filed for divorce and you’re unsure what to do next, you can turn to the Law Offices of Audrey A. Jefferis, P.A. Our experienced divorce attorneys represent clients throughout the Tampa Bay area, including those in Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Hernando Counties. We know how stressful divorce proceedings can be, and we’ll do everything we can to make the process easier for you. Contact us today to arrange a consultation—we have offices in New Port Richey and Palm Harbor.