One of the most common divorce questions our attorneys hear involves who should file first. In most cases, it does not make much difference whether you or your spouse is the first to initiate divorce proceedings. The process of ending your marriage will likely proceed the same way regardless of who files first, particularly if you do not experience much conflict or hostility.

With that said, we always like to talk about the other side of the “to file first or not” topic. We have found that a good way to highlight the issues revolving around filing first is to look at the possible pros and cons. As you may have noticed, we said the “possible” pros and cons because they do not apply to every Texas divorce.

Possible pros

  • If domestic violence is an issue, filing first may give you an advantage. However, you should also consider putting some distance between you and your spouse.
  • Filing for divorce before your spouse may also allow you to protect your share of the marital property. This is typically an issue if you are worried your spouse will drain your bank account or sell off valuable assets.

Possible cons

  • In most cases, the spouse who first initiates divorce proceedings ends up paying more in court fees and expenses than the other spouse does.
  • Filing first may also give your spouse a small advantage because the divorce complaint will contain details of what you want in the final settlement. If you ask for too little or even too much, complications may arise.

As we always say, no question about divorce is foolish. If you have questions about divorcing in Texas, continue reviewing our website or reach out to us for personalized answers.