Filing for a divorce is also realizing and coming to terms with the fact that your marriage is over. For various reasons, some couples may see a benefit in seeking a legal separation first instead of filing for a divorce. However, you can not seek legal separation in the state of Texas. Although you and your spouse cannot legally separate in Texas, there are some legal separation options that could provide similar outcomes to what you consider lawfully being separated. This article is a helpful resource to lay out possible options as you consider your options and what is best for the future. We also advise contacting a Texas divorce law firm that can walk you through your options and answer any questions you may have as you work towards filing for a divorce.
Plan out your own agreed temporary separation.
You don’t have to file anything with the court if you agree that your first step in possibly getting a divorce is to plan time apart from your spouse. Taking this path can be a good option if you are both unsure that you want to file for divorce, and there could be a chance for reconciliation. It allows for the space you both need. During this time, it is advised that you put together a temporary agreement since you both still share the responsibilities of your marriage. This interim agreement should include the following;
- Who is still responsible for which bills
- Childcare arrangements or agreement
- Set boundaries for your separation
- Also, set an end date for your trial separation. Some couples opt for a few weeks or even a few months. However, a trial separation should not extend past six months.
- Housing arrangements
It could also be beneficial to meet with marriage therapists and find a therapist for yourself.
Couples who also choose to separate on their own may come to an agreement so that they can still have the quality benefits of being married. These benefits include;
- Filing joint taxes
- Monthly Social Security payments
- Health insurance benefits
File for a temporary legal separation agreement
Although you can not legally separate in Texas, filing a temporary separation agreement is an available option. A temporary separation agreement can help with a child custody arrangement, visitation, financial support, and the dividing of assets. You must file a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) for child custody. A SAPCR suit is a custody case, not part of your divorce case. A SAPCR suit can be a way to gain possession of your child.
To form a valid separation agreement, both parties should sign the specific terms in writing. A separation agreement can be a cost-efficient and timely way of establishing visitation, financial, and property rights. However, this is a complicated process that a Texas divorce attorney should only complete.
File for a protective order.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, you can file a protective order. Under Texas law, this can be seen as similar to a legal separation because protective orders can assign where children live and who has custody. Protective orders can also determine who gets to stay in the house or who has to leave. A protective order can also establish child and spousal support.
We can help answer your questions about legal separation options in Texas.
Divorce is never easy. Divorces can become complicated even when you are on the best terms. The complexities of divorce are the reason why you need an experienced divorce attorney on your side from the beginning. Our Texas divorce law firm can answer all your questions, provide you with all your options, and be there to guide you from beginning to end.
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