No, usually it does not matter who files for divorce first. The court in California does not give any preference or disadvantage based on whether you are a Petitioner (first person to file) or Respondent.
Q: My husband filed for divorce in California several years ago. Before the case was finished, I moved out of state. How do I find out whether anything has been filed in my case and whether I am divorced? (Anna, Ukraine) A: Go to the courthouse where you had your case and check their records and your file […]
Q: I got married in Russia several years ago. Now I live in California. My wife is still in Russia and we have been separated for over 8 years. I want to get married to another woman. Do I need to get a divorce first? I do not have a Green Card, would I still be able to get […]
If the respondent does not file the necessary responding paperwork (usually, the Response) within 30 days of service, the petitioner may request an entry of default. The divorce proceeding can then be completed without any participation of the respondent.