Is it better to be the first to file for divorce in Missouri?

Being the first to file for divorce does have some advantages, although in most cases it is not particularly relevant. In Missouri, whomever has the children at the time the case is filed is deemed to have temporary custody of the children, which can be an advantage. Also, if the case ends up going to trial, the person who files first (called the Petitioner) will get to present their case to the court first, which in many cases is an advantage. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, being the first to file puts pressure on the Respondent to act or face a default judgment.