What are the benefits in filing for divorce first? 3 Answers as of March 28, 2011

We were living in Utah and I was working in ca. since last summer. My wife cheated and then came for a normal visit and told me that she has no feelings and wants a divorce. We have been married for 21 years and in her sudden hatred says she wants to file immediately for divorce. Would it be better for me to file in California or let her do it in Utah? What is my best option?

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Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Some benefits of you filing (and serving) first would include the ease for you to file where you reside in California (as opposed to having to deal long-distance with a divorce case in Utah), and your getting the first and last argument at trial. You need to be a California resident for six months before you can file for a Dissolution of Marriage. It is not the first to file who prevails, but it is the first to SERVE who prevails. If you file and your wife is served before she serves you with a Utah divorce case, yourcase will be the divorce case that is litigated.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/28/2011
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
If you don't want to deal with going back to Utah, then best to file here in California. If she files first in Utah, you will likely have to hire a Utah lawyer and travel to Utah to deal with the divorce court there.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/28/2011
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
I cannot speak to the benefits of filing in Utah, but in California, it is no fault divorce state. What this means is that she would not be penalized for adultery, but you also don't have to prove that she did anything wrong to get divorced. You also get to apply community property laws, which guarantee you half of all the assets (but also half of the debts). I would suggest speaking with a Utah attorney to find out the benefits of filing there, however if you are interested in filing here and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/28/2011
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