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The Pros and Cons of Filing First in a Carlsbad Divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2021 | Divorce

What are the pros and cons of filing first in a Carlsbad Divorce?  There is a lot of pre-planning to do prior to filing for a divorce.  Many people believe it is best to be the spouse who actually files for divorce.  Others don’t want be regarded as the one who caused the divorce, or if divorce is really the right answer for the problems in a marriage.

The decision of when to file for divorce is actually quite situational.  It can make a difference if you file first, but that’s not always the case. While there are too many pros and cons of filing first in a Carlsbad divorce to discuss in this format, let’s focus on a few of them.

The Advantages of Filing For the Divorce (The Petitioner)

The party who files for the divorce is known as the “Petitioner.”  The petitioner is able to select the venue for the case (where it is filed) and initiate the process (when it is filed).  One of the primary advantages of being the petitioner in a divorce is being the first to present evidence or their petition in any process or hearing during the divorce.  Therefore, the Judge will hear the petitioner’s perspective first in these matters.  Some would argue it allows the petitioner to frame the discussion while ensuring their point of view is the first a Judge hears.

The petitioner is therefore able to work their attorney to carefully plan and strategize.  The petitioner has plenty of time to gather all documentation and financial information and to emotionally prepare themselves for the reality of divorce and how to handle it.  The other spouse will only have 30 days to organize everything, hire an attorney and file their response.  Finally, if the other spouse does not respond to the divorce filing, the Judge is very likely to approve / award most or all of the requests of the petitioner.  This can provide a substantial advantage in issues such as child custody and parenting time.

The Disadvantages of Filing for Divorce (The Respondent)

A discussion of the pros and cons of filing first in a Carlsbad Divorce should also consider some of the disadvantages.  If you had any hope of saving a marriage, filing for divorce is usually the fastest way to close the door on reconciliation.

The divorce filing discloses all of the strategy of the petitioner and their positions on important aspects of the case such as child custody & parenting time as well as the division of assets and requested support.  This allows the respondent to rebut these positions and prevent them from initially taking place simply by filing a response.

The petitioner must also pay the initial filing fee (just under $500) when the case is filed.  The respondent does not usually have to repay any portion of this until the end of the case.  It may be possible for the respondent to evade their portion of the filing fee as part of any settlement.

There are pros and cons of filing first in a Carlsbad Divorce and it is important to seek the advice and counsel of the experienced Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq.

Protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.