Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First in Texas?

Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First in Texas?

Jan 22, 2024
img

According to the BBC, women file 70% of the divorces in the US. Does this give women an advantage? Yes and no. Filing for divorce first is somewhat like winning a coin toss before a football game—there are some subtle advantages. Legally, the divorce petitioner does not have any extra rights over the respondent. In certain cases, the subtle advantages of filing first could actually have a meaningful impact. In other cases, these “home field advantages” might not even be noticed. What are the potential advantages of filing for divorce first in Texas?

Advantages of Being the Divorce Petitioner

The person who files for divorce gets to choose which jurisdiction to file the divorce in, if applicable. If a couple has just moved or is on active military duty, for example, there may be the option to file in two different jurisdictions. In many cases, the jurisdiction will ultimately make very little difference. Yet, in other situations, one jurisdiction versus another can result in a completely different division of property. 

Texas is a community property state, so filing for divorce in a 50/50 division state could make a big difference for some couples. Additionally, Texas allows both at-fault and no-fault divorces. If the spouse who cheated, for example, were to file in one of the 17 no-fault states, this could make a significant difference.

Additionally, the divorce petitioner gets to choose the timing. If you are familiar with “Walk-Away Wife” syndrome, which ties into why women tend to file for divorce, controlling the timing is often a critical factor. The economic consequences of divorce are greater for women, statistically speaking. So, most women make a plan, which includes calculating the timing, before filing. This strategy may involve small timing factors like waiting until after a holiday to bigger delays like waiting to finish school or gathering evidence of infidelity.

Finally, the person who files for divorce sets the tone. If the divorce is going to be amicable and cooperative, that will be evidenced in what the filing spouse writes in the petition. On the other hand, if the filing spouse asks for an at-fault divorce, disputes property issues, or alleges abuse, the tone will be combative from the get-go. The first impression a judge gets of the divorce, of course, comes from the initial petition. If it paints one spouse in a negative way, this could create more of a hurdle for that spouse to overcome when it comes to child custody, for instance.

Advantages of Being the Divorce Respondent

Again, legally speaking, there is no technical benefit to being the petitioner. However, the respondent does not have to worry about paying the divorce filing fee. The fee is not significant and can even be waived, but it is nevertheless something the respondent does not have to deal with. 

Our Ft. Worth Divorce Attorneys Can Help!

Mims Ballew Hollingsworth focuses on family law. We have an experienced team of Ft. Worth divorce lawyers on staff. Let us guide you through the divorce process with compassion and efficiency. Contact us to set up a free legal consultation today. 

client-img

Constance Mims

Constance Mims has over fifteen years of experience practicing exclusively family law. Mrs. Mims is Board Certified in Family Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is Collaborative Law certified and is a shrewd negotiator, not to mention her experience in the most challenging child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, alimony, prenuptial agreements, and divorce issues, both in court and in the appellate arena.

Contact Us Today!

Put Our Team On Your Side

or call us at

817-900-8330

    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img

    I highly recommend this law firm. I have had Brian and Kelly both represent me in now three seperate cases. They are men of integrity that are very prompt to answer questions and get back to you on important matters. They have always been well organized and stayed on top of the important information relevant to my cases. ...

    Loyd Camp
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img

    Timothy Alexander did an exceptional job handling my divorce case. He was extremely prepared, very informative, and he made sure I was always kept in the loop. His professionalism, guidance and empathy tremendously helped during what could have been a much more difficult time. I was so pleased with the final outcome and ...

    Donna DeTomaso
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img

    Highly recommend this law firm. Andrew McAlester goes above and beyond for his clients. He’s very resourceful and prompt in communication. I always refer Mr. McAlester to my family and friends in their time of need because I trust his judgement and I know he has his clients well being at the forefront of everything.

    William Hawthorne
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img

    Tim Alexander represented me during my divorce. His compassion, empathy and communication during the process helped keep additional stresses out of an already stressful situation.

    C Grucza
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img

    I highly recommend this firm. I mainly worked with Andrew McAlester. Andrew was super helpful and courteous during a very stressful situation that I found myself in. Thanks for everything!

    Dante Martinez
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img

    Timothy Alexander is an amazing lawyer. He helped me with everything I needed to do to get my divorce final in a very short period of time. I always try to refer to him when anybody asks for a divorce lawyer. Thank you for everything you’ve done.

    Autumn Colson
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img

    Kelly & Brian helped us in our child custody case and I am very pleased by their work. Our case ended up last almost 2 yrs due to COVID, however they were very easy to communicate with and constantly kept us up to date on our case and the courts. I would highly recommend them if you are needing a great custody lawyer ...

    James Homerstad
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img

    Mr. Alexander was the utmost professional. He was timely in his communication and very thorough in his answers. His approach helped make a difficult situation tolerable. One thing I greatly appreciated is that he did not just tell me what I wanted to hear. He would offer suggestions and allow me to make the final decisio ...

    Heather Varon
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img

    Kelly & Brian were amazing attorneys. I came to them when I really needed help with child custody issues, and they were committed to reaching the best possible outcome. I am writing this to express my most sincere thanks, and gratitude for their professionalism. They stuck by me through the last year in dealing with ...

    Misty Benson
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img

    Things happen and you need someone to tell it to you straight. Andrew McAlester is someone I trust to help me navigate through these difficult times.

    Phuc Lam
#

This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Constance Mims who has over 15 years of experience practicing exclusively family law. Mrs. Mims is Board Certified in Family Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization..

Related Posts

locations

Areas we serve

area-1

Fort Worth, TX

Our family law attorney & Divorce lawyer are ready to take your case. Visit us now!

area-1

Southlake

Our family law attorney & Divorce lawyer are ready to take your case. Visit us now!

area-1

Flower Mound

Our family law attorney & Divorce lawyer are ready to take your case. Visit us now!

area-1

Keller

Our family law attorney & Divorce lawyer are ready to take your case. Visit us now!

area-1

Colleyville

Our family law attorney & Divorce lawyer are ready to take your case. Visit us now!

area-1

Trophy Club

Our family law attorney & Divorce lawyer are ready to take your case. Visit us now!

area-1

Grapevine

Our family law attorney & Divorce lawyer are ready to take your case. Visit us now!

area-1

North Richland Hills

Our family law attorney & Divorce lawyer are ready to take your case. Visit us now!

area-1

Denton

Our family law attorney & Divorce lawyer are ready to take your case. Visit us now!