I'm often asked, "Does it matter who files the divorce first?" In general the answer is, no. Occasionally, there are strategies involved and you would need to discuss that with your attorney. But in general, no.
There are some advantages in being the first to file. Those advantages would be sometimes the person has a psychological advantage of being the first to file. Sometimes, it gives you more time to prepare you sort of know what's coming. And for some people that's a comfort that they are not surprised with divorce filing. It gives you time for you to get documents gathered and prepared. For example, you may want to gather your wills and your deeds and any kind of financial documents. In some situations, it prevents the other spouse from hiding assets. Although if they're going to hide assets, they've already been doing that. But for some people that is a strategy.
And when you get to trial, if you go to trial, you will present your side first. So, you get the first say, that is, the first thing that the judge hears.
There are some disadvantages to being the first to file. The main one is the filing fee. It is somewhere between $250 and $300 to file the divorce and have your spouse served. And kind of the flip side to being able to go first is, if you are the one that was served, you get to go second. So you've already heard the first side's arguments and you can counter those arguments.
If you think there is a strategy to filing a divorce, you need to discuss that strategy with your attorney. But in general, there is no advantage or disadvantage in being the first to file.
I hope this helped, If you think it will help someone else please share. And if you'd like more information on divorce and family law in Georgia please subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Nedra K. Howard
Nedra has represented clients in matters relating to divorce, separate maintenance, child custody and support, family violence protective orders, adoption, prenuptial agreements, business disputes and litigation, personal injury, property damage, and wills.
John B. MIller & Associates, P.C.
16 Eastbrook Bend, Suite 201
Peachtree City, GA 30269
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770 - 863 - 8355