Your Petition for Divorce or Your Answer
Contrary to many people’s fears, who files for first for the divorce is not important. The first person to file is called the “petitioner” and they ask in the petition that the marriage be dissolved. Within 30 days the other spouse, who is called the “respondent” must file their Answer, addressing the allegations in the Petition. Both the Petition and the Answer must be sworn to under oath by each party.
Usually, the Respondent then files their own Counter Petition asking for a divorce, but perhaps asking the court for different orders as to maintenance, child support, or attorney fees.
All requests of the parties are now before the court as to maintenance, payment of attorney’s fees, custody of the children, and other important matters to be decided by the judge. The stage is now set for negotiations, and if they break down, the parties will go to trial. It is time for the attorneys to prepare their cases properly.