Being First to File; What Happens Next
There may be certain minor tactical advantages for the person who files for divorce first. The person who files first is the Plaintiff and he or she files a Complaint for Divorce. The other person is the Defendant and that person responds to the Complaint by filing a document known as an Answer. The Defendant may also want to assert that he or she has grounds for divorce by filing a Counter-complaint. This is usually followed by a process called Discovery, which can include written questions, known as Interrogatories, Requests for Admissions or Requests for Production of Documents, and face-to-face questioning before a court reporter, which is called a Deposition.
If possible, talk to your spouse about divorce before you file. It is hard to keep open lines of communication if your spouse has been surprised by a process server serving divorce papers on him or her at 4:00 A.M. (which is when they sometimes serve papers).