In New York, Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First?

signing the divorce papers

Whether you and your spouse have discussed it and realize your marriage is not working or you discovered information that has left you ready to divorce your partner, understanding the different aspects of this process is critical. As such, one thing many are unfamiliar with is whether or not it matters who files for divorce first. Luckily, the following blog explores what those considering this process should know and why it’s imperative to connect with divorce attorneys in Nassau County to explore your legal options during these challenging and emotional times.

Will the Outcome Change Based on Who Files for Divorce First?

It’s important to understand that the person who files for divorce first is not granted special treatment from the courts. As such, ultimately if you do or do not file first, it will not impact the outcome of your divorce. You will both be able to speak and make your case, so there is no legal advantage to filing first.

However, there are some benefits to filing before your spouse. When you determine you want a divorce, being the first person to file gives you more time to plan. This is because you can collect the information you need before filing, allowing you to have more time between filing and when your spouse responds to the case.

Additionally, as the petitioner, you have the opportunity to request temporary orders first. Again, this gives you more time to get the information and evidence you need, whereas the respondent spouse has to first respond to the divorce petition before they can request temporary orders. As such, they may feel rushed or overwhelmed, whereas you will have more time during this process.

How Do I File for Divorce?

If you wish to file for divorce, understanding the steps in this process is vital. The first thing you must do is access and complete the divorce papers provided by the state of New York. Once you complete them, you must file with the County Clerk’s office. In addition to having the documents completed, you must make a copy and have both notarized. It’s important to understand that there is a filing fee of $335.

Unfortunately, completing divorce paperwork without the assistance of an experienced attorney can be incredibly complex, as there are many legal considerations you must make. You may make errors that invalidate the filing, further prolonging this process.

Deciding to file for divorce is difficult enough without having to worry about whether or not the paperwork you must file is correct. As such, our dedicated legal team is committed to helping you navigate these complex matters. At Barrows Levy, we can handle legal issues like completing and filing the paperwork, so you can focus on the next chapter of your life. Connect with us today to learn how we can assist you.

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