Does it matter who files for divorce first?

Doesn't matter who files for divorce first. At a conceptual level, the court does not in any way give any greater weight to a petitioner the person who files first or respondent who files first in divorce. In actuality and in function, it may make a rather large difference. Because there are emergency orders that we may need, there may be a reason to file first. There may be a reason to ask for temporary orders, in which case you do want to be the petitioner and you do want to get out in front of things. If immediate child custody concerns are an issue, you do want to be the petitioner. If you don't have any of those concerns. If, say, there are no children and no emergent issues, then being the petitioner respondent, filing first, filing response doesn't make any conceptual differences far as the outcome of your case would go. Again, if you have emerging concerns, you may want to file first in order to get some manner of advantage or to get immediate relief from the court.