Separating from a spouse is a difficult experience for any person. Both spouses have to determine a number of issues, from childcare to allocation of debt, and they may not always agree. If this happens, it may be wise to seek legal aid. If you are going through a legal separation, you should consult with an experienced Arlington legal separation attorney today.
The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. understands the hardships that a family may experience during a legal separation, and we are here for you in your time of need. To schedule a legal consultation to discuss the details of your legal separation, contact the Queenan Law Firm, P.C. at (817) 476-1797. You can also contact the firm online.
Can Spouses Legally Separate in Arlington, TX?
Legal separation is a legal process whereby two spouses receive a court order that permits them to live separate from each other while still being married. Spouses may opt for a legal separation when they are having marital trouble but believe that a divorce would be too extreme at the time. Under some circumstances, legal separation can also deal with the distribution of legal matters like child custody and the division of property.
Unfortunately, Texas is not a state that acknowledges legal separation as a status. As a result, spouses cannot petition the court for a legal separation. However, while Texas does not recognize legal separation for married couples, there are other options available for spouses that feel they can no longer live and cohabitate together.
To learn more about alternatives to legal separation, continue reading and speak with an experienced Arlington TX legal separation lawyer.
Alternatives to Legal Separation in Arlington
The lack of a legal separation law in Texas has made it difficult for spouses that may not wish to pursue a divorce as a resolution to their issues with a spouse. Fortunately, there are some alternatives that spouses can take to remain married but live separately from their spouse. The following is a list of alternatives to legal separation in Texas.
Creating a Separation Agreement
A separation agreement is a contract between spouses that elect to live in different homes but do not wish to file for a divorce. Separation agreements can address a number of issues between spouses:
- Determine the custody of children and whether child support will be provided
- Determining the visitation schedule for a non-custodial spouse
- Separation of property and debt between spouses
To ensure that a separation agreement is properly executed, it must be signed by both spouses. Additionally, spouses may have to consult with a court to determine whether their agreement is enforceable.
If you and a spouse are considering drafting a separation agreement, you should speak with an experienced Arlington family law attorney. The Queenan Firm, P.A., can fight for your interests if you elect to sign a separation agreement with a spouse.
An informal separation may also be an option for a couple that does not wish to file for a divorce. Specifically, spouses can orally agree to live separately and separate property or other responsibilities without the assistance of the court. This can allow spouses to take a needed break and determine whether they will choose to reunite with their spouse or possibly seek a divorce.
It is important to note that an informal separation will likely only be an agreement between the spouses. As a result, the agreement may not be enforceable in court, and each spouse will have to rely on the promises made by the other spouse. However, this choice is ideal if spouses want to stay legally married for one reason or another.
Divorce is a possibility if two spouses separate and ultimately decide that they would be better off living without each other permanently. In Texas, a divorce can be fault-based or no-fault.
Fault-based divorces occur because a spouse committed some act or continuous actions that the other spouse can no longer tolerate. For example, if one spouse was caught in the act of adultery once or several times, the other spouse may decide they do not want to be married anymore. Other examples of causes of fault-based divorce include:
- Abandonment of a spouse for at least a year
- Living apart from a spouse for at least three years
- A conviction for a felony that resulted in a prison sentence of at least a year
Alternatively, no-fault divorces commonly occur because two spouses can no longer get along with each other. For example, the spouses may consistently argue or fail to understand the needs of the other spouse.
As legal separations are not offered in Texas, spouses must determine whether they should just divorce or try to work their issues out in another manner. Our firm is here to evaluate your unique situation and determine where you should consider a form of separation or whether a divorce would be more prudent for your situation.
Work with Our Experienced Arlington, TX Legal Separation Lawyer to Discuss Your Options
If you are considering a divorce from your spouse, you should consult with an experienced Arlington family law attorney today. The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., is here to help alleviate your concerns about divorcing from your spouse. We understand how a separation or divorce can substantially change a person’s life, and we are ready to work with you. To schedule a case evaluation, contact (817) 476-1797.