Should I file first?

Typically, the spouse that files first has obvious advantages in the selection of what is called "venue" and a distinct advantage at trial.


Many divorce and custody lawyers stand by the position that it does not matter who files first, but that is simply not true in nearly all cases.  Most importantly, there are some divorce and custody cases, where filing first could be a crucial litigation decision that could greatly impact the outcome of a case.  Unfortunately, many divorce attorneys do not understand and fail to inform their client that there are times where filing first does matter.


For example, there are some divorce cases where the choice of courthouse (County and State) could be at stake.  Any attorney will inform his or her client the importance of what is called "choice of venue." Venue is just a legal and fancy word for choice of courthouse.  If you and your spouse (or the other parent) already live in separate households, different States and Counties are at stake.  For example, if one spouse resides in DuPage County, and the other in Cook County, the case can be filed in either of these places, but not both.  


The spouse in Cook County would naturally want to file the case in Chicago and the DuPage County spouse would rather not try and find a lawyer and litigate in the City.  In this case, the decision to file first becomes pivotal and very important in keeping your costs down.  Why is this important, well a typical Cook County case with custody issues could take THREE (3) years, versus DuPage County in a fraction of that time. 


There are other legal reasons to file first, and a lawyer that fails to place value on who files first isn't considering all the legal aspects of such an important decision. 

If you and your spouse reside in different Counties or States, call Paul Nordini for a free phone consultation.  (630) 416-6600.