It may be better to file for divorce first in GA. This does not necessarily mean that you will win or lose your divorce case in Georgia just because you file first or your spouse files first. However, filing first for divorce in GA may have an effect on some aspects of the divorce litigation.
Does it matter who files for divorce first in GA?
Filing for divorce first in GA may affect trial strategy. If you file for divorce first in GA, you will be the plaintiff (or petitioner), and your spouse will be the defendant (or respondent). As the plaintiff, you will get to present your case first. Then, it would be your spouse’s turn as the defendant. Oftentimes, deciding the order of presentation of evidence is a part of trial strategy. That is, it may be beneficial to present some evidence before others.
Also, as the plaintiff, you will have the opportunity to have the last word during closing argument at the end of the trial, if your case proceeds to a trial. If you are wondering how this specifically affects your case, you may want to chat with Atlanta Divorce Lawyer.
As the plaintiff, you will also get to decide exactly when to file the divorce action, which may also affect your litigation strategy. However, as the plaintiff, you will need to pay the new case filing fee to the court. New case filing fees are usually around $220.
If your spouse files for divorce first in Georgia, you, as the defendant, could file an Answer to the Complaint for Divorce as well as your Counterclaim for Divorce. A counterclaim is basically your claim for divorce against the plaintiff.
Should you file for divorce first in Georgia?
Under certain circumstances, it may be better to file for divorce first in GA.
For example, if your spouse is anticipating divorce and moving around marital assets, you may want to consider filing for divorce soon. This is because a domestic relations standing order would be issued once you file for divorce. A domestic relations standing order is a court order which generally contains some language prohibiting disposing of marital assets (with some exceptions). If a party does not abide by this language, that party could be held in contempt of the court.
Questions about whether to file for divorce first?
Every case has unique circumstances. Who files for divorce first in Georgia may matter more in one case than in the other. It would be wise to plan and see what your options are.
Talk with Atlanta Divorce Lawyer about whether you should file for divorce first in GA.