Divorce is not like shopping at Wal-Mart.
It is a complex process and you need a lawyer. Get one, and do not do anything without counsel. Pro se divorces lost always go very badly.
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I'm always a bit surprised when it's necessary to state this: in a divorce case, do not take legal advice from your spouse.
And don't accept without question any advice from your spouse's attorney if your spouse gets an attorney. Get a good divorce lawyer and accept advice only from your lawyer.
This answer is for informational purposes only. This answer is not intended to create, and does not create, an attorney-client relationship. Use of this answer is not intended to create in any party any rights whatsoever. You should not rely on this answer alone for making decisions regarding your legal matters, as that requires an analysis of your specific facts in the context of existing law. It is recommended that you seek legal counsel for such matters.
I'll agree with what the prior to lawyers said and reiterate the need for a lawyer here. I'll also answer your question though - I don't know of any courts that require both the Petitioner and Respondent to be there at the filing window when the case is filed. The court clerk's answer seems more accurate.
Contact a local attorney or certified family law mediator/divorce coach to get your answer. Family, friends, and yes, even ex-spouses, don't always have the right answers!
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