WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES V. DISADVATAGES TO ‘FILING FIRST’ IN A TEXAS DIVORCE

When it comes to divorce, it can be tempting to think of everything in terms of winning or losing. Even the process of filing for divorce turns into a competition. However, it is crucial to consider what – if anything – you stand to gain by focusing on winning. For instance, when it comes to filing for divorce, there are some advantages to filing first, but they may not be significant for everyone.

Advantages of filing for divorce first:

If you file for divorce first, you have more control over where your case is heard. Filing in your jurisdiction could mean better familiarity with judges and fewer travel expenses. In cases where spouses live in different states, the state in which a person files for divorce can have a significant effect on outcomes if the laws are different than the laws in Texas. For instance, Texas is a community property state, whereas many other states are not. If you could benefit from the laws here, it could be beneficial to file for divorce first. Filing first can also help people feel more prepared and set the tone for the rest of the divorce.

Do you need to file first?

While there are some advantages to filing the divorce first, there may be no reason to rush to file before the other person. And in fact, there are some disadvantages of filing first, including filing fees and having to go first in the process, rather than having the opportunity to respond.

In terms of any benefits a petitioner has in court, generally, neither person has an advantage. Both parties get to present their case, and the judge will fairly evaluate both sides before making decisions.  Whatever you ultimately decide, it is important not to panic. Divorce is not necessarily about winning or losing; it’s about finding a fair outcome that is right for you.

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