Does It Matter Who Files First In A Divorce? | 2020 - Bineham & Gillen

divorceDoes It Matter Who Files First In A Divorce?

Going through a divorce can feel like a battle – always strategizing your next move and how the opposing party will retaliate. With these strategies, does it matter who files first?

Here are the pros and cons of being the first to file for divorce.


If you are doing the serving, you have more control over the process of the divorce, specifically the timing of how things move along. You also get to plan ahead and take your time in finding a lawyer.

When you are the one being served, time will not be on your side. Having to look for a trustworthy lawyer in 30 days after being served can be stressful and make the situation that much more difficult.

You will also have the first choice of court if you are to file first. In a divorce, being able to choose what court will be more favorable to your case – depending on the laws of divorce in Texas – can be a huge advantage. In some cases, the court may even look at the papers that were first filed, giving you a chance to tell your side of the story first.

Finally, you can have immediate relief from an unstable relationship. Filing first gives you the chance to quickly decide matters of money, as well as child custody problems.


There are some disadvantages when it comes to serving first, mostly involved with strategy and money. Filing first alerts your spouse of your demands immediately, giving them a chance to plan out how they will react and retaliate. You must list out your desires and demands if you file first, and your plans could backfire after hearing your spouse’s counter argument.

You may also have to pay more fees if you are the one filing first, such as attorney fees and filing fees. You will also have to pay for a process server, which costs around a hundred dollars.

What’s Next?

If you are thinking about getting a divorce and don’t know where to begin, contact Bineham & Gillen to assist you through the process and to speak with the best divorce attorneys in Texas.

San Antonio Divorce Attorneys - Bineham Gillen

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Bineham & Gillen Divorce Attorneys
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San Antonio, TX 78023


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