Are There Advantages to Being the First to File for a Texas Divorce?
If you are sure that your marriage is coming to an end, you are going through a difficult time, and you may be tempted to simply ignore the issue for as long as possible. This stance, however, is unlikely to be in your best interests. While being the spouse who is first to file for divorce is unlikely to make a significant difference in the process, there are some procedural considerations that are worth examining more closely.
The spouse who files the Petition for Divorce is the petitioner in the case, and in certain circumstances, he or she can have a slight procedural advantage. For example, if you are hoping to keep the proceedings close to home, if you are motivated to keep the divorce moving forward at a swift pace, and/or if you have concerns about whether or not your soon-to-be ex will attempt to upend your finances before the divorce is final, being the first to file can help.
Choosing the County
If you and your spouse are living in different counties that both have jurisdiction in the case, the petitioner can choose the county in which to file. This can make the mechanics of your divorce, including any court dates, more convenient for you. Time is often an important consideration in divorce, and minimizing your driving distance can make things easier for you.
Setting the First Hearing Date
The petitioner generally is in control of setting the first hearing date for temporary orders (when temporary orders are needed). Temporary orders allow you to request interim provisions related to child custody arrangements, child support, spousal support, attorney fees, and other temporary financial matters, including the temporary use of personal property like your marital home and vehicles. By setting the hearing date, your Central Texas attorney will have the maximum amount of time to prepare your case – while also allowing him or her to move it forward as swiftly as reasonably possible.
Temporary Restraining Orders
If you are concerned that your spouse may be squandering community resources – or hiding marital assets – in the buildup to divorce – filing first is in your best interest. Once you file, your attorney can get a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in place that can help maintain your financial status quo in the interim. A TRO, for example, can help stop your spouse from spending lavishly, transferring or selling marital assets, or otherwise hiding assets. Additionally, a TRO can prevent your spouse from engaging in underhanded moves such as canceling insurance policies or destroying evidence that could be critical to your case. Divorce is fraught with painful emotions, and it can push otherwise reasonable people to do unreasonable things; a TRO can help.
If You Are Facing a Divorce, Contact a Central Texas Family Law Attorney Today
If you have reached the difficult decision that you need to proceed with a divorce, being the first to file can be to your advantage. Attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Central Texas has the experience, skill, and compassion to advocate for your rights throughout the divorce process. For more information, please contact or call us at (254) 220-4225 today.