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Petition or Complaint?

I filed a complaint with the court today (the legal kind, not the Karen kind) and realized I had never given any real thought to the difference between the two. To be fair, there isn’t a lot of difference in Georgia. In some states and especially in family law matters there can be a great difference but since I’m in Georgia here is the short difference:

-Complaint: Plaintiff is asking court to award monetary damages or make the defendant to do something or stop doing something.

Petition- Petitioner is asking court to rule on something.

Frequently, in family law I use a Petition. There is a petition for divorce, a petition to modify custody, a petition for child support. I have seen other attorneys have a Complaint for Divorce with the logic being they want the defendant to stop being married to the Plaintiff.

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