You can`t get a legal separation in Texas instead of a divorce. Texas law does not recognize legal separation. However, there are options that give similar results to what you might consider a „legal separation.“ A protection order available to protect a victim of domestic violence may resemble a legal separation, as protection orders can dictate where children live and who has access to them. Protection orders can also determine who is allowed to stay in the house or who must leave. You can also set up child and spousal support. Typically, protection orders expire after two years. For more information on protection orders, see I need a protection order. So while the required separation may seem tedious, it can actually be beneficial, especially if you`re able to protect your rights in the process. Even if you can`t get legal separation in Texas, the above method of dividing war property while you`re separated offers an option to protect your rights while living apart from your spouse. It`s important to realize that all the precautions taken during your separation in Texas may take precedence if you`re divorcing, so you really need to consider this before proceeding. For some people, divorce may be forbidden or frowned upon in their religion. A separation allows the couple to maintain their religious beliefs. There are also couples who can`t live together, but they still love each other.
These are just some of the reasons why couples may separate temporarily or permanently. While Texas doesn`t force separation, that doesn`t mean there aren`t other methods they use to slow down potential divorce candidates. One of them is the residence. If you and your spouse are separated but have not divorced, it can have financial consequences because you are still legally married. For more information on the financial obligations of marriage and divorce, click here. I have seen couples who had a sharing and exchange agreement that remained in effect for five, ten, fifteen years or a lifetime, — while remaining legally married. In addition, one of the advantages of entering into a division and exchange agreement is that if the parties subsequently divorce, the property that has been divided with a party is the separate property of that party and the divorce court cannot withdraw separate property from a party. Pulling him through a prolonged separation couldn`t benefit anyone. This waiting period is also not without advantages. In exchange for this forced cohabitation, states that require separation often allow couples to file a legal separation agreement. This offers many of the same protections you`ll find in a regular divorce — things like parenting plans, division of property, and even alimony — that give couples the opportunity to focus on their relationship without having to worry about how these issues are handled.
To provide you with some of the protections found in a legal separation, North Texas Family Lawyers may file a partition and exchange agreement on your behalf. This is a type of post-marriage contract that can be used to override the standard rules of community ownership and distribute the assets as you wish. In addition, child custody and custody arrangements can be made either through a protection order or by filing a „parent-child relationship lawsuit,“ which can make your parenting plan legally binding while you and your spouse are separated. Almost every state has laws about legal separation, but unfortunately, legal separation in Texas is not explicitly addressed in legislative laws. And this can pose a dilemma for Texas couples who want to live apart without divorcing. Another possibility is a permanent separation. Again, it is not legally recognized in the state of Texas. But some people choose to divorce for religious or financial reasons. For example, although the couple has decided not to stay together, it may allow one of the spouses to stay on the other`s health plan. There are other reasons why it might make sense to stay legally married even if they are permanently separated. Filing joint returns offers tax advantages to some couples.
It may also allow the maintenance of certain military or social security benefits. In Texas, the only process available for separating a spouse is divorce. The only real difference between legal separation and divorce is that a divorce ends the marital relationship. A couple who enters into a legal separation agreement does not end their marital relationship. However, in each scenario, the court will determine the rights and obligations of the spouses, financial obligations, custody and support, visitation, medical benefits, insurance, division of matrimonial property and spousal support. I am often asked about legal separation in Texas. The answer is simple. Texas has no legal separation. The only mechanism Texas has for legal separation is divorce. Once the divorce is filed, the court can issue interim injunctions against the parties, property, alimony, persons, children, etc.
A question often asked of family law attorneys in San Antonio and throughout Texas is whether there is a legal separation in Texas. Simply put, the answer is no. For more tips and information on the various separation issues and how to protect yourself, check out the following articles: A separation agreement is a legally binding contract signed by spouses designed to resolve property, debt, and child issues. This can be a very complex and detailed document, depending on the unique situation of the marriage. Many spouses consult a lawyer to do this, or they decide to prepare their own. For couples who are not yet ready to tackle divorce, separation can be a great precursor, giving them the time and space to understand what they really want to do. At North Texas Family Lawyers, we`ve helped many clients settle into separation, and one question we`re often asked is: How long do I need to be separated before filing for divorce? In other cases, the financial affairs of the parties are complex and they often require the help of a lawyer to try to achieve some sort of informal legal separation. However, because Texas does not recognize any type of legal separation — formally or informally, there are only a limited number of things lawyers can do to protect the parties while they are separated.
Until a divorce is filed, a Texas court cannot enter into a legal separation agreement between the parties. I also understand that Florida`s law is very similar to Texas law in that Florida has no kind of legal separation. No matter which path a couple chooses, it`s important to protect your assets and your future. If you decide to break up, it usually doesn`t require the help of a lawyer. However, if you want to enter into a separation agreement or are considering a divorce, it is best to have legal representation. This is especially true if you have assets, property, and/or children. Proponents of legal separations and states that recognize them say the separation process gives couples time to decide whether they really want a divorce to officially end their marriage. It should be noted that legal separation gives them time to think about whether they want to divorce, attend counseling, recover from indiscretions, and try to get together to stabilize their marriage. Texas is one of the few states that does not recognize legal separation. Other states that do not recognize legal separation as an alternative to divorce are Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania. Some couples in other states who, for whatever reason, feel they can no longer live together but do not want to divorce, may ask the court to recognize documents that support the fact that they are legally separated.
Our lawyers are experienced in drafting marriage contracts and advise clients on the effects of separation. Please contact us to make an appointment to discuss your case. The short answer is: Texas has no separation requirement. This is the opposite approach to that of other states, many of which actually require separation before filing. But just because Texas isn`t one of them doesn`t mean there aren`t some caveats and restrictions designed to slow down couples struggling for divorce. A lawyer can further explain the differences between separation and divorce and help you make the decision that is in your best interest. Call Warren & Migliaccio if you separate or divorce in Dallas: 888-584-9614. In general, there is no limit to how long spouses can be separated in Texas. The marriage continues until the divorce or death of a spouse.
The only exception is in the case of a common-law marriage. If the parties are „informally married“ under Texas law (where the parties were not married by license, but agreed to marry and then lived together in Texas and claimed to be married in Texas), a divorce must be filed within two years of their separation. If you do not claim in time that you have contracted an „informal marriage“, the presumption is justified that you are not legally married at all. However, the most similar rule (for the purpose) to a required period of separation is the Texas waiting period. So why is this important? Texas is a state of communal ownership, which means that all property acquired during the marriage belongs to both spouses. .