Does it matter who files for divorce first?
The person who brings the case first gets to talk first. Some lawyers swear that there is an advantage to being first. Others say it doesn’t really matter. There is no negative connotation attributable to the spouse who brings the action or to the person who responds to the action. However, as one lawyer said, “First impressions are lasting impressions.” If family violence has been a part of your life you need to take action. It is more credible for a victim of family violence to bring the action first.
If you and your spouse are living in different counties in Texas, and each of you has been in your county for more than 90 days, then the advantage of filing first can be important, as it will fix the jurisdiction over your divorce case in your county. As well, the person who files first gets to go first if the case goes all the way to final trial and, thus, has a lot more control over the pace of the trial. That can be a real advantage if you case goes to trial. Realistically though, both of those situations are rare and in most instances it does not really matter who files for divorce first.
Michael R. Puhl