Getting a divorce is stressful and a highly emotional process that comes with several tasks you need to complete. However, you also need to be aware of factors that can influence the outcome of your divorce proceedings. For this reason, you need to take some time to look through these factors, so you are well informed before you file for divorce.
File Divorce Papers First
When you are trying to decide whether to file for divorce first, you have to consider what will happen if you wait. If your spouse files first, you will become the defendant throughout the court proceedings. This means that your spouse will be the plaintiff and he or she will have the ability to tell the judge their side of the story first.
When you and your spouse agree on most of the terms of the divorce, this is not a big deal. However, if you are afraid that your ex will try to convince the judge that you are a bad parent or that you should pay more in alimony, this could create a problem. For this reason, filing the divorce paperwork first is generally a safer choice for you.
Answer or Countersue
In the situation when your spouse files for divorce first, you need to know what to do next. You can choose to answer or file a counterclaim after you get the paperwork.
Choosing to answer the summons is simply telling the court whether you agree or disagree with the divorce. However, if your spouse decides to stop the divorce proceedings, you will have to start over from the beginning. Some people stop the proceedings when it looks like the outcome of the divorce is in their ex's favor.
To keep your ex from stopping the proceedings, you can file a counterclaim from the beginning. A counterclaim also gives you the ability to make your own grievances known to the courts; for example, if the reason for the divorce is because of infidelity. Your ex does have the right to respond to any accusations you make, but it will stop them from dismissing the proceedings altogether.
Another factor to think about is which parent your children want to live with on a daily basis. In many states, the judge can ask to speak to the older children to find out who they prefer to live with. In this situation, you would need to prove your ex is a danger to the children for the judge to overrule your children's wishes.
By understanding these factors, you can be better prepared for what is about to happen. If you need more information, contact a divorce lawyer like Ward & Ketchersid PA.
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