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Dear Attorneys,

I want to get divorced, but I really don’t want to be the one to initiate it. Does it matter who files first?


Defendant Danny

Dear Danny,

A lot of people feel that way and do not want to be the plaintiff in a divorce matter. However, there is not too much of a difference between being the plaintiff or the defendant. As the plaintiff, you do pay a slightly higher filing fee, and you are also responsible for the marshal fee. Ultimately, the difference financially ends up being around $250 (probably not enough to persuade someone not to file).

In addition to that though, if you are the plaintiff, you can set the timeline for the divorce because you are the one who chooses when to file. That may or may not matter to you ultimately, but some people care enough to file because of that. Outside of those reasons though, even if some people think that there is a negative connotation to being the plaintiff, there is not. You should just do what you are comfortable with. If your spouse does not file quickly enough, you may change your mind.

Wolf & Shore Law Group is here to help you make your family law matters easier, not harder.  We are realistic and direct with our clients. We encourage potential clients to seek out a firm where they will feel comfortable and confident. Ever argue with a woman? Let Wolf & Shore Law Group go to work for you. Call us at 203.745.3151 or email us at

Very Truly Yours,

Wolf & Shore Law Group

Petition for Divorce

*The situations represented in our Dear Attorneys column are entirely fictional and any resemblance to a specific case is unintentional. We cannot, and will not, offer legal advice to anyone who is not a client. However, if you do have questions or concerns, you should contact an attorney at your convenience.

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