In the case of divorce, the person who has filed for the divorce is called the petitioner or plaintiff. Unlike in a criminal case, there is typically no advantage to being a plaintiff in divorce proceedings as there may be nothing to prove, particularly in no-fault divorces.
In the state of Maryland, there are fault and no-fault divorces. If you believe that your spouse has been adulterous, is an abuser or has abandoned the family, you may be forced to provide proof to a judge. Even in this case, being the plaintiff is not as important as in other types of court cases.
In general, being the plaintiff means specific things in divorce court. If you file for the divorce and are named as the plaintiff, you will present your case first. Because you file, you will pay the filing fee and you will also pay a service fee. When people ask, you can say you divorced your spouse, not the other way around. As you can see, being a plaintiff in a divorce case has no real benefit over being named as the defendant.
The thought of filing for a divorce may be causing you anxiety and stress. If you believe that your marriage has come to an end, reach out to an experienced divorce attorney in Columbia for assistance. An attorney can review your reasons for divorce, help you file and protect your assets. Maryland has complicated divorce laws, don’t make the mistake of trying to handle yours alone.