Yes, it may. When your spouse receives the paperwork, they will have a reaction. If you filed with the court and your spouse was not aware of that, then that reaction is not likely going to be positive. A negative reaction can put into motion a cycle of interaction that could spiral downwards. The important thing is that the divorce filing is better not a surprise and best done together. Legally, there is no benefit to filing for divorce first other than it gets you to court. (For some people, that may be important.) I recommend filing for divorce together in a joint petition, especially if you have children; that way when your children look at your divorce papers when they are older, they can see that Mom and Dad did the divorce together.