Our Tomball divorce attorneys are always surprised at how many of our clients think Texas honors legal separations. Unlike many other states, there is no such thing in Texas. However, our divorce lawyers in Tomball can explain what other options are available to you.
Unlike Other States, Texas Has No Such Thing as Legal Separation
After you’ve had a chance to review the services our divorce lawyers in Tomball offer, you should do one other thing. Search online to see if legal separations are recognized in Texas.
It will not matter how long you search or how many articles you read. The legislature in Texas doesn’t offer the option of a legal separation. In a way, when it comes to divorce in Texas, it’s an all-or-nothing approach.
Your Tomball Divorce Attorney Can Explain That Texas is an All-or-Nothing State
Many of the people our divorce lawyers in Tomball meet with aren’t sure that they’re ready to file for divorce. Some of them think their marriage is still salvageable. Others have no idea what they want to do.
While a legal separation would offer you an in-between solution, unfortunately, it isn’t a legal option in Tomball, Texas. Therefore, your Tomball divorce attorney will need to be more creative.
This Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Have Options
If you’re worried that you’ll have no choice but to get a divorce once you learn there are no legal separations in Texas, don’t be. Our divorce lawyers in Tomball can explain several different options available to you.
It’s natural to be unsure of whether you want to move forward with a divorce. This is especially true if you have been married for a long time. The good news is that there are a few alternatives.
There Are Several Alternatives to a Legal Separation
There is no such thing as a legal separation in the Lonestar State. However, our Tomball divorce attorneys can discuss various alternative options with you.
Some of the solutions you should consider before making any final decisions include:
- Temporary court order – This is an order signed by a judge that addresses such things as child custody, visitation, and even financial support.
- Protective Order – If you are dealing with domestic violence issues, you can petition the court for a protective order. This order will cover visitation, occupation of the main residence, and child support.
- SAPCR (Suits Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship) – This option is not related to a divorce proceeding. It is a separate suit that determines conservatorships, child custody, and access to your children.
- Separation Agreement – This is the closest thing to a legal separation that your Tomball divorce attorney can provide.
Your Divorce Lawyer in Tomball Can Help You Pursue a Protective Order
When it comes to a protective order, the courts only issue them when there is evidence of domestic violence. This does not necessarily mean that your spouse or partner has been physically abusive.
These orders can be valid for up to two years. One thing to keep in mind is that it is very hard to retract these orders. The court may take the power out of your hands when it comes to dismissing a protective order.
Another Option is a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship
The other option, an SFPCR, is not very common. In fact, our divorce lawyers in Tomball do not pursue these all that often.
A Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship is not related to a divorce proceeding. It is a separate suit that determines conservatorships, child custody, and access to your children. It is ideal for people who were never married to the other parent.
Your Best Option May Be a Separation Agreement
If you and your spouse are looking for a temporary solution to what could be a long-term problem, a separation agreement may be the perfect solution. It provides you with a way to cut ties with your spouse as far as living arrangements are concerned. However, it does not dissolve the marriage.
Some of the clients our Tomball divorce attorneys help with a separation agreement have specific reasons for avoiding divorce. This may include:
- One spouse is ill and needs to remain on the other spouse’s health insurance policy.
- The husband and wife are not sure if they truly want a divorce.
- It is not a good time to sell the marital home.
- Neither party wants to divest their respective investments or retirement accounts.
Regardless of the reason, our divorce lawyers in Tomball can help draft a customized separation agreement on your behalf.
What Information Will Your Divorce Lawyer in Tomball Include in a Separation Agreement?
Before you decide whether a separation agreement is a good option for you, it’s important that you understand what these agreements comprise. The agreements address some or all of the following:
- Spousal support and maintenance
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support
- Who will live in the primary residence?
- Who will pay for the household and family bills?
- Who will be responsible for things like car payments, health insurance, etc?
Essentially, your separation agreement can say whatever you want it to say. As long as both parties sign it in good faith, it can be anything you want it to be.
Your Agreement Will Be Similar to a Marital Settlement Agreement in a Divorce
One of the best ways to describe a separation agreement is that it’s just like your marital settlement agreement. The main difference is that it comes in the form of a contract between you and your spouse – not a court order.
This also means that your Tomball divorce attorney will have to enforce the agreement using contract law, not divorce law. The family courts cannot enforce the agreement because it does not include an order signed by the family law judge.
Your Tomball Divorce Attorney Can Guide You Through the Process
It can be just as difficult to draft a separation agreement as it is to file for divorce. Of course, the process is nowhere near as expensive as a divorce. Separation agreements are also less rigid than formal divorce agreements. Our Tomball divorce attorneys can walk you through the process so it’s not overwhelming.
We recommend that anybody who is debating whether to file for divorce speak with a seasoned divorce lawyer in Tomball. They can help you determine the issues that are most important to you. They’ll also negotiate terms with your spouse’s lawyer if need be.