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Does it Matter Who Files for Divorce First in New Jersey?

taking wedding rings off

If you have reached a point where there’s no chance of reconciliation with your spouse, you may conclude that dissolving the marriage is the best solution. However, during this contemplation, you may wonder whether it matters who initiates the divorce proceedings. Although filing for divorce first doesn’t automatically grant you any inherent rights over your spouse, it can prove advantageous. This is because it’s a strategic decision that can give you more control over the situation right from the beginning, enabling you to prepare for the impending legal process properly. If you’re considering a divorce, you should enlist the help of a knowledgeable Ocean County Divorce Attorney who can help you navigate your legal options. Please continue reading to learn the potential benefits of filing for divorce in New Jersey. 

What Are the Benefits of Filing for Divorce First in New Jersey?

Firstly, it’s crucial to understand that one spouse must file a divorce petition with the court to initiate the termination of the marriage. The filing spouse is called the “petitioner,” and the non-filing spouse is the “respondent.” If you’re considering a divorce, you should consider the benefits of filing for divorce first:

  • Control over the pace of the divorce. If you’re the petitioner, you will have more control over how fast the divorce progresses. This is because you’ve decided when to begin the process by filing first. After filing the petition, you start the clock. Your spouse has no choice but to respond to the complaint within the court’s timeline. While your spouse is working on their response to the complaint, you can adequately plan for the next phase.
  • The first impression with the court. As the petitioner, you must provide the court with paperwork containing statements about the grounds or reasoning for the divorce. These allegations will be the first information the court receives about the case.
  • The first opportunity to request temporary orders. The petitioner has the first opportunity to request temporary orders before notifying the other spouse of the initial divorce filing. These orders can limit what each spouse can do with marital assets, protect one spouse from the other, award temporary child support, or grant temporary child or spousal support. While the non-filing spouse will have an opportunity to respond to any requests for temporary orders, their response must be filed before or at the same time as their response to the petition. They do not have the opportunity to request any temporary orders until after they have filed their response to the petition.

As you can see, there are various benefits to filing for a divorce first. If a divorce is imminent, please don’t hesitate to contact a determined attorney from the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC, who can help you protect your legal rights and fight for your future.