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Legal Separation – Does it Exist?

Legal Separation – Does it Exist?

Sometimes when a couple is contemplating divorce, they will go through a trial separation to see if they want to follow through with it. While the typical mentality behind this is that there is documentation of separation and you are ‘legally’ not together during this time, Texas is one of six states that does not have a legal separation process.

A couple may be considering a ‘legal separation’ if they no longer want to live together but also do not want to go through the financial and emotional stress that comes with a divorce process. However, the Texas Family Code does not provide for a legal separation process, meaning if you are separated and think you have an agreement, the court does not have to recognize it. In a sense, if you are separated, you are ultimately just working through a break on your own without subjecting yourself to the  jurisdiction of the court. 

During this time, it is imperative that you fully understand the divorce process, and how decisions made during a separation (with or without children) may affect the divorce process.  You need to have general understanding of the courts in the county where you reside, and whether or not the county you live in has a standing order.  When you have filed for divorce, the court has jurisdiction over your property, finances, children, etcetera, and agreements and orders are enforceable.  When nothing is filed, there are no guarantees as to a perceived  “agreement” and nothing is enforceable. 

If you are questioning whether spending some time apart from your spouse would be beneficial or you are considering divorce, get in touch with an experienced divorce attorney to learn your options. Contact NB Family Law by calling (940) 566-0606 or visiting nbfamilylaw.com to schedule a consultation.

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Navarrette | Bowen, P.C. | Family Law Attorneys | Denton, TX

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