Should I File First?



Reaching Your Destination

road signStrategic:
Wondering who should file first in a divorce? More specifically you may be asking yourself, “Should I file first”? Simply stated, the answer is “Yes!”. Once you have decided divorce is the route you are going to take, you should be the first to file. By taking the initiative, you place yourself in the driver’s seat. You become the Petitioner and are now able to map a course using a strategy that best represents your interests in this matter.

As soon as your attorney files the divorce action, it is recognized by the Court and the clock starts. After being served the paperwork, your spouse has thirty days to respond. By filing first, your concerns are outlined in the divorce petition and that petition now sets the tone of the case. As the Petitioner, you guide the action and can direct it to key issues that are a priority to you. Your spouse becomes the Respondent and not only must reply to your concerns, but must do so in a timely manner.

Should this matter go to trial, court proceedings dictate that the Petitioner presents evidence first. The Respondent then has a turn to testify, but now must respond to the topics you have already outlined. You, then, have an additional opportunity to take the stand to clarify any statements made by the Respondent and to restate your point of view. This provides the benefits to both make the first impression and have the final word. In my opinion, this will give you a distinct advantage when it comes to the judge’s consideration and final ruling.

You may be “out of pocket” for the filing fee, but taking the lead is certainly worth the cost. It is a smart navigational tool that will prove its value when you reach your desired destination.

Office Location

1031 Peruque Crossing Ct.
Suite B
O’Fallon, Missouri 63366
Phone: 636.625.6448
Fax: 636.625.3721


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