Texas Legal Separation Attorney
Helping Spouses While They are Separated in Fort Worth
There are different reasons why spouses might want to spend time apart without seeking a legal divorce. This may be the case due to religious values, insurance or financial religious reasons, or simply because you hope for a reconciliation. However, a separation can present several issues, such as how you will share finances, child custody or support, and more.
When you separate in the Fort Worth area, you should always consult with an experienced legal separation attorney. The right lawyer will review potential issues you may face and help find the resolutions necessary to protect your rights.
Many states have laws governing legal separation for spouses living apart. However, Texas has no law that sets out procedures for legal separation. The only time a court in Texas will rule on marital issues, such as property division, is after spouses have already filed for divorce. Prior to a divorce filing, spouses will need to explore other methods of settling their affairs while they are separated.
One common way to handle property division and support issues is to enter into an informal separation agreement. This can be drafted by your attorney, and you can sign it without going to court. Like other legally-binding contracts, there are consequences if one spouse fails to adhere to the agreement.
A separation agreement can include many terms, including:
- Financial responsibilities of each spouse, including which debts each spouse will pay and whether one spouse will provide financial support for the other
- Property rights, such as who will get to live in the family home, who will get each vehicle, how they will divide personal property such as furniture, and more
- Child visitation rights, including the schedule for sharing custody of the children
Suits Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR)
In some cases, it may be necessary to file a SAPCR, which is a custody case opened outside of a divorce case. This can help settle custody sharing of your child if you and your spouse cannot agree. Custody is one matter the court will handle outside of a divorce case.
Divorce cases can take time, and spouses may not want to live together during a lengthy divorce. Once the petition is filed and the case is proceeding, the court can issue temporary orders that apply while the couple is separated and waiting for the divorce to be final. In many cases, the terms of the temporary order will be incorporated into the final divorce order.
Contact a Fort Worth Legal Separation Lawyer to Discuss Your Options
Even though there is no official legal separation under Texas law, there are still many ways an attorney can help resolve property and child-related issues while you are separated. The Law Office of J. Kevin Clark works with clients who are separating, whether or not they are certain divorce is in their future. Call 817-348-6723 or contact us online to learn how we can help in your case.