Are There Any Advantages to File for Divorce First in Texas?
The end of marriage is hard. A lot of legal, logistical, and emotional hurdles must be overcome to finalize a divorce. If you are preparing to file, you may be wondering: Does it matter who files for divorce first in Texas? Technically, the answer is “no”—though there can sometimes be some advantages to filing first. Here, our Houston divorce lawyer explains the key things you should know about filing for divorce first in Texas.
Three Potential Benefits of Filing for Divorce First in Texas
While there is no technical “legal” advantage to filing for divorce first—both spouses retain the same rights regarding property division, spousal support, and child custody—there can sometimes be some practical benefits to being the one that files the initial divorce petition in Texas:
- You Can Determine the Venue (County): You need to file for divorce in your county of residency. In some cases, you and your spouse may reside in a different county. Filing first gives you the power to determine the venue. By filing first, you can select a county that is more convenient for you, possibly closer to your home or work. The choice can save you time and travel expenses—especially if you anticipate multiple court appearances.
- You Can Overcome Stalling By Your Spouse: In some cases, a marriage may be on the rocks, but one partner might refuse to move forward with a divorce. They could be hoping to delay the process or avoid it altogether. By taking the initiative to file first, you can avoid such stalling tactics. Filing for divorce moves the process forward.
- You Present First (If Litigation Required): Few divorces actually end up in litigation. That being said, there is always a risk. In cases where a divorce ends up in court, the spouse who filed first usually presents their case first. This can be a strategic advantage. Presenting first allows you to set the tone for the proceedings and make a strong first impression on the judge.
Note: If one spouse files for divorce in Texas, he or she is responsible for paying the initial filing fee.
Married Couples Can Divorce in a Collaborative, Amicable Manner in Texas
You and your spouse can effectively file for divorce together. Indeed, in Texas, couples even have the option of a collaborative divorce, which is a method that emphasizes cooperation over conflict. As a general rule, you should always try to find a way to resolve your divorce in an amicable manner. An experienced Houston, TX divorce attorney can help.
Contact Our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyer Today
At Lindamood & Robinson, P.C., our Houston divorce attorney is standing by, ready to protect your rights and your interests. Have questions about filing for divorce? We are here to help you with the process. Call us now or contact us online for your completely confidential consultation. With a law office in Houston, we handle contested and uncontested divorce cases throughout Southeast Texas.