The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Yorkville Office By Appointment

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file for divorce, DuPage County divorce lawyerNo matter what the situation may be, some people are better at making tough decisions than others. Certain individuals are able to quickly choose a course of action and begin proactively pursuing their goals. Other people, however, require more time to consider the implications of their decision, weighing their options carefully before making a choice. Of course, there are extremes in both groups, with some making rash decisions regardless of the consequences and others who overthink the situation while paralyzed into inaction. When the issue is something insignificant, like where to have dinner tonight, the ability to make a decision is not all that important, though an inability to do so may still be annoying. But what about the decision to file for divorce? Does it matter who makes the decision to file the petition first?

A Level Playing Field

From strictly a legal standpoint, there is little to be gained from getting to the courthouse ahead of your spouse. If you file first, you will be known as the petitioner throughout the proceedings, and your spouse will be the respondent. With your petition, you will be able to make certain claims and requests of the court, so there may seem to be some advantage to being the petitioner. However, the respondent will have the same opportunities to make claims and file motions, both in response to yours and of his or her own accord. As the process moves forward, both parties will have the chance to present evidence and contribute to the judge’s final decision.

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filing first, DuPage County divorce attorneyMarriages end for all sorts of reasons, some financial, others behavior-based, and still others because of incompatible personalities. While divorce can provide a doorway to happier life, it is understandable that you may not want to put yourself at a disadvantage during the process itself. Whether the problem is genuine or just perceived does not really matter; if you feel a certain way, the impact on you is real enough. Many who are considering divorce often wonder if filing first makes any difference in the proceedings compared to waiting for their spouse to file. The answer to that question is fairly complex and depends on your specific circumstances.

No Legal Advantages

When you consider other areas of the law, such as criminal defense or personal injury, it is usually up to the filing party—the prosecutor or injured person—to prove his or her allegations. Of course, the burden of proof differs by the area of law, and may be shifted to the other party as the case proceeds, but, in general, the party who files has more responsibility and control over the suit. Divorce is unique in that there are no presumed roles or advantages for either party regardless of who files the petition for dissolution. You will each have the opportunity to make requests, file motions, prove your claims, dispute those of the other party, and otherwise be heard as equals throughout the proceedings.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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