Is it beneficial to file first in an at-fault divorce if I live in California? 6 Answers as of March 21, 2011

Is it beneficial to file first in an at-fault divorce if I live in California?

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Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
Since California is a no-fault state it does not matter if you file first just for the sake of being called the Petitioner, as opposed to being called a Respondent. However, many times there is a reason to file first, such as to prevent the other spouse form running off with assets, creating joint debt, or removing children from the home.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/21/2011
Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
There is a perception that filing first has advantages, but really it doesn't unless the other party is not going to respond to the Petition. In that case, you can proceed by way of default. However, once a Response is filed, the parties are on equal footing. If you have any further questions, please let me know.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/18/2011
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
California is a no fault divorce state. There is no benefit to filing first.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/18/2011
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
There is no "at fault" divorce in California. California is a "no fault" divorce state. Only irreconcilable difference is relevant, not all the drama of why. Also, there is no benefit or detriment to who files first, i.e., the "Petitioner," and who is the "Respondent."
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/18/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
California is a no-fault state; there is no such thing as an at-fault divorce in California. Anybody who wants a divorce can get one, based on "irreconcilable differences" which need not be addressed in any way other than a recitation of those two conclusory words. Nevertheless, there are certain advantages a person has if he/she is first to file AND serve, including the choice of forum, the ability to prepare, not being under pressure to find a lawyer and respond within 30 days of service, and being the first and last to argue at trial.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/18/2011
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