When it comes to filing for divorce, there may be a number of advantages to being the first to file. While each Texas marriage (and divorce) is unique, there are certain aspects of the process that hold true for everyone. When it seems likely that divorce is on the horizon, making legal preparations can mean a world of difference in the eventual outcome of a divorce proceeding.
One issue to consider involves establishing jurisdiction. The divorce will be decided in the jurisdiction of filing, which can be important if you and your spouse have already separated or divide time between two counties or states. The rules can be different in varying jurisdictions, so if there is an option to file in multiple locations, it is important to fully research which jurisdiction would be the most beneficial to your particular scenario.
Another consideration is simply the benefits of having time to prepare. Once the decision to file for divorce has been made, the filing spouse has the time needed to gather financial documentation, save money to cover the legal costs and make preparations for moving or increased child care needs. Once the process begins, many spouses behave in ways that are uncharacteristically combative, and it can be difficult to gather information once the lines in the sand have been drawn.
For most, the decision to file for divorce is the hardest part of the entire process. By being the first to file, a Texas spouse can gain the advantage in terms of jurisdiction and planning. While the process may feel daunting, it is a finite experience, and it is essential to remember that there is a new life waiting on the other side of the hurdles ahead.
Source: Forbes, “What Are The Financial And Legal Advantages Of Being First To File For Divorce?” Jeff Landers, March 26, 2013