People ask many questions before or during the divorce process, including “does it matter who files for divorce first?” Is there any legal advantage to filing for divorce first? This can depend on the state and legal jurisdiction in which you live. For Shaffer Family Law couples, there is no evident benefit filing first—although some minor distinctions can be noted.

Perhaps the most crucial reason to file for divorce first is becoming the “petitioner,” or the person asking for the divorce. The “respondent” is the person receiving the divorce summons.

Although the petitioner can make their case first during divorce proceedings, there is no clear advantage. Opening the divorce request only appears to award marginal benefits to the petitioner, including giving your attorney a head start on freezing jointly held assets. This can be for those worried about their ex selling off possessions and disappearing.

So, whether you are the petitioner or the respondent in a divorce case, divorce will be challenging. Luckily, a knowledgeable family attorney can help you every step of the way. When you’re going through a divorce, an attorney can help you protect your rights. At Shaffer Family Law, we’re here to help you protect your new future. Call us at (480) 470-3030 to get started.

Scroll to Top