Sometimes, spouses are not completely ready to experience the finality of divorce. Yet, they feel their marriage is on the rocks and they need some time apart to decompress and consider how to move forward. If this sounds like you, know that there is an alternative to divorce in Texas: informal separation.
Texas Does Not Offer Legal Separation
In most states, couples have the option to enter into legal separation. Through legal separation, both spouses live apart but remain married, following a court order. The finances are still divided and if there are children, child support and custody arrangements are made.
In Texas, no laws exist that govern legal separation. For couples ready to end their marriage, divorce is often viewed as the only legal option to pursue. Yet, this isn’t the case.
The Alternative to Legal Separation: Informal Separation
In an informal separation, you and your spouse live apart. While an attorney isn’t necessarily required, one can help you create an agreement between you and your spouse to serve as a contract during your time apart.
These agreements can help you divide assets and set boundaries without a divorce. For example, spouses can enter into a partition and exchange agreement which allows a spouse to transfer community property—marital property—to the other spouse. An agreement can also cover estate planning, alimony and more.
Why Should You Try an Informal Separation?
If you feel time apart would benefit your marriage, separation is a great option. It allows you to consider and evaluate whether divorce is the best option for your family. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to have constructive conversations with your spouse to resolve any open conflicts. It’s possible that a separation can be just what you need to avoid an impending divorce.
Divorce Isn’t the Only Option in Texas
You have the option to participate in an informal separation with legal protection in Texas with the help of an experienced attorney. We can help you choose a path that’s right for you and your family. To learn more about informal separation or for help deciding which step to take next, call our Arlington, TX, lawyers at 817-799-7125.
Sources: State of Texas Family Code