In the state of Texas, separation is not legally recognized. However, there are options that provide similar outcomes to what you might think of as a "legal separation."
A common misconception is that spouses separate without filing for divorce thinking property acquired while separated belongs to that spouse and the other spouse does not have a right to those assets. But because Texas does not recognize legal separation, all assets and debts acquired by either spouse after separation are subject to division as part of the divorce. However, there are two options below that can provide similar outcomes.
Option 1: Court Order
Court Orders can be used to obtain similar results to those of a “legal separation”. We help our clients request temporary orders to address issues such as:
- Who will have exclusive use of the home,
- Who will be responsible to pay the debts,
- How will the community funds be used during the divorce, and/or
- All issues related to conservatorship, possession and access, and child support if our clients have minor children.
A court order is not considered a legal separation. Though, after a court order is entered addressing all of these issues, our clients achieve a similar state to that of a “legal separation”.
Option 2: Separation Agreement
Another option we provide for our clients to achieve a similar result to that of a “legal separation” is a written separation agreement that has the proper binding language to protect our clients.
It’s important to remember that if you do not have temporary orders or a proper separation agreement in place, you can suffer financial consequences.
If you and your spouse are separated or are thinking of separating, but you are not sure if you are ready to file for divorce, you should contact an attorney immediately to discuss your options.
Do You Need the Guidance of a Family Law Attorney in Dallas, Texas?
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