Does It Matter Who Files First in a Chicago Divorce?

When it comes to filing for divorce, sometimes I see a rush to the courthouse. The client insists on getting things ready to file first. Should there be a rush to the courthouse when filing a Chicago divorce? If you both reside in the same general area, the answer is no. There is not any real significance to who filed first when you are both would file the case in the same court.

Who Files First Matters When Spouses Live in Different States

Talk to Divorce Lawyers in Each State About Your Situation

Where the Children Reside Controls Parenting Time and Custody

Absent the considerations if you live in two separate states or jurisdictions and you both live where you would file in the same court there is no rush to the courthouse.

The Divorce Filing Process

Does the court take into consideration or make any determination based on whether the party is the Petitioner or the Respondent?

The case involves two parties who were married on the same date for the same length of time and a request to terminate their marriage was filed by one of them — to the court, they are on equal footing and who filed first does not make any difference to the Court. Illinois no longer has grounds for dissolution of marriage. Illinois used to have an option when you filed for divorce to allege grounds such as adultery, mental cruelty, and habitual drunkenness. In those instances, someone may want to be the petitioner and make these allegations as a basis for requesting a divorce. This did not give the Petitioner an advantage as far as property division or any other different treatment — it was simply a mechanism to prove the grounds as alleged for purposes of dissolving the marriage. Illinois has since done away with “grounds” so you could have been the best spouse or the worst, and the court just cannot take that into consideration.

Although it does not matter who files first, there are some things to consider and be aware of if you are the Petitioner and if you are the Respondent.

What You Need to Know If You File First in Your Divorce

Beware of a Counter-Petition to Dissolve the Marriage

Importance of the Date of Filing

Filing Divorce First Impacts When You Begin a Trial

Consult With an Experienced Chicago Divorce Attorney About Filing First


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