As Olivier Martinez and Halle Berry gear up to get a possible divorce fight, everything from who filed for divorce first to allegations could become factors in court.
The couple filed dueling petitions for divorce Without using pseudonyms, PEOPLE supports, Berry submitted a second petition – identical but on Wednesday. Filing different petitions could be a play to gain an upper hand in the event the case goes to court, a legal expert says.
“For tactical reasons, some lawyers need to file first because if you are the petitioner and the case proceeds to trial, you can put on the case first,” Robert Brandt, a family law specialist in California, tells PEOPLE. “It gives the petitioner that advantage.”
A source close to Berry says she had other motivations. “Halle filed first, but she did not draw focus to it,” the source says. “Halle filed under fake names to protect both the petitioner and their kids.”