It is completely irrelevant whose name is on top, just as it is irrelevant who is the Petitioner and who is the Respondent.
Your rights are the same, either way.
Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.
The characterization as a Petitioner or Respondent is important for purposes of acquiring jurisdiction, the first party to file the petition with the court and to serve the summons and the petition on the other party will determine the court that will entertain the action if there are two courts with equal jurisdiction based on the place of residence of either one of the spouses at the time the petition is filed and the summons are served and proof of service is filed with the court.
If you are filing for a request for judgment, you must identify yourself as Respondent as you have been identifying yourself during all the stages of the divorce proceedings. either one of you can prepare and submit forms to the court when the type of action you are asking the court to take is proper for the stage of the procedure and a judgment can be requested.
You just submit the forms for the other party (petitioner) to sign it and you will submit the form to the court with the proper identification of the parties. Because you are the party requesting the court to take an action does not mean that you must be the petitioner and not the Respondent. As indicated above, you are entitled to request the court to take an action that is proper when that action can be taken independent of your participation as petitioner or respondent.'
This response is intended as a legal advise but at no time will constitute attorney client privilege or serve the basis as a negligence malpractice action. The legal advise is based on the facts presented in the question and are based on a general application of the Law as it exists.