Filing for Divorce First in Texas: What You Need To Know


Filing for Divorce First in Texas: What You Need To Know

December 15, 2022
Tycha Kimbrough

If you believe your marriage is heading towards a divorce and you are considering filing for divorce first in Texas, then you may be wondering whether there are advantages or disadvantages to being the spouse who initiates a divorce case. There are important implications to understand regarding divorce procedures when you file first, but the strategies you execute after you file are what will cause this to be either an advantage or a disadvantage.

At Kimbrough Legal, PLLC, we help professionals navigate divorce by protecting their children, assets, and peace. Consider the following information in light of your goals and your needs, and then contact our experienced divorce legal team at 833-553-4251 in Austin, TX to schedule a strategy session and make plans for your next steps.

Making The Right Decision: Is Your Divorce Inevitable or Preferable?

You must understand that a series of events will begin to unfold as soon as you file for divorce. You will be essentially forcing your spouse’s hand and giving up on repairing your marriage or considering a trial separation.

Perhaps you have made efforts to save the relationship, but you have decided you are now at the point where the future you envision does not include your spouse. In that case, let’s look at how the next steps you are considering can help you meet your goals and needs when initiating a divorce in Texas.

Are There Benefits to Filing First When Seeking a Divorce in Texas?

When you file first, you are the Petitioner, and your spouse will be the Respondent. You will have to pay the filing fee if you file for divorce first in Texas, which you may see as a small disadvantage.

However, taking that step will secure your role as Petitioner, and that usually allows you to present first in court. The Respondent will have the opportunity to respond immediately afterwards. While there is no official advantage to filing first, in practice, this can position the Petitioner to frame how the issues are discussed and set the tone for the interaction.

Framing The Issues to Present Your Reasons & Pursue Your Future

If you are the spouse who is initiating the divorce, then you probably have some clear ideas of why you are pursuing a divorce and how you want your life to look at the other end of the divorce process. You can discuss your goals and concerns with your attorney in more detail and collaborate on a strategy that fits your situation and your reasons for pursuing a divorce.

As the Petitioner, you may have an opportunity to prioritize elements of your case that could otherwise be delayed in a slow discovery process. Discuss with your attorney how planning your initial filing and your courtroom strategy may help you to pursue a more efficient and effective divorce proceeding. Envision the bright future you are seeking, and work with your attorney to pursue terms that can position you to make that future a reality.

Do You Need To Pursue a Protective Order or Temporary Support?

As the Petitioner, you can make an impression as you set out your preferred terms from the start, whether in your initial filings or when you speak first in court. If you require a restraining order due to domestic violence issues or you believe you will need temporary support, you can emphasize these from the beginning. While you can also pursue these as a Respondent, a Petitioner can either emphasize or deemphasize these concerns when presenting first.

Prepare For The Ways Children Will Impact Divorce Proceedings and Considerations If You File First in Texas

If you have children with your spouse, you will need to establish custody, child support, and visitation. Additionally, spousal maintenance (alimony) and property division will be important considerations. By filing for divorce first, you may not gain an advantage in the official view of the court, but you may be able to frame these issues relative to your goals by presenting first in court.

Planning Properly For Your Future In Accordance With The Steps Towards a Finalized Divorce in Texas

Before you proceed with filing for divorce in Texas, you should have a plan for how to approach these issues and other areas of your life as you set out for a future apart from your spouse. You should discuss these concerns with an experienced Texas divorce lawyer before filing. Every divorce case is unique, and you should let your attorney gain familiarity with your situation and your goals so you can have a strategy in place before you begin.

Divorce can be a long process, but there may be opportunities in your case where difficulty can be avoided in favor of efficiency by seeking small agreements with the other side. By having a plan established with an attorney from the beginning, you will be prepared while your spouse will be reacting and responding to your moves as you set the tone.

An Experienced Texas Divorce Attorney from Kimbrough Legal, PLLC Can Help You Initiate a Divorce in Austin, TX

An experienced Texas divorce attorney at Kimbrough Legal, PLLC will help you to understand how these steps and considerations throughout the divorce proceedings will impact your life and your loved ones. We can help you initiate a divorce and manage your case with a plan in place, while your spouse will have to react.

The divorce process in Texas is designed to be fair, but the actions you take within this system have consequences, and we can guide you through your divorce case with your goals in mind. Whether you are initiating a divorce or you are reacting after your spouse filed for divorce, we can help you. Contact Kimbrough Legal, PLLC at 833-553-4251 in Austin, TX to schedule a strategy session and begin planning to secure your post-divorce future.

Protecting children, assets, and peace

Copyright© 2022. Kimbrough Legal, PLLC. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Kimbrough Legal, PLLC
5920 W. William Cannon Dr., Bldg 3, Ste 400
Austin, TX 78749
5920 W. William Cannon Dr., Bldg 3, Ste 400, Austin, TX 78749

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