Divorce

Should You Get a Separation Agreement?

Posted by brian on July 10, 2019
Divorce Attorney in Cedar Park, TX

No marriage is without its ups and downs. While many couples weather the storms and remain married for the long haul, others determine that divorce is necessary. Some couples, however, take a breather from marriage by separating. This is complicated by the fact that  Texas does not recognize legal separation (unless the couple has already filed for divorce).

In other words, if you and your spouse believe separation is in order, there is no legal mechanism in place to guide you. This does not preclude you, however, from creating a separation agreement that both protects you and helps you move forward with the separation process. If you are considering a separation, you need the experienced legal counsel of a skilled Round Rock family lawyer. 

Taking a Break

If you and your spouse are facing daunting marital problems, it’s important to recognize that you have options other than divorce, including:

  1. Seeking marital counseling
  2. Seeking individual counseling
  3. Making changes in your marriage that accommodate each of your needs
  4. Separating temporarily to work on your issues and to attempt to find solutions to your marital difficulties
  5. Separating for the long-term without filing for divorce, often for religious or financial reasons

Many couples get separated without ever going through with a divorce, so separation does not always mean you should hurry to file divorce papers.

Putting Your Children First

If you and your spouse are separating, your first concern is generally your children’s continued well-being. As such, Texas courts grant orders called Suits Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship, called SAPR orders. SAPR orders set out many specifics pertinent to your children, including:

  1. Which parent your children will live with primarily
  2. The other parent’s visitation schedule
  3. How much financial support the other parent will provide
  4. How your children’s daily care will be divided
  5. Which of you will make important decisions on your child’s behalf

Parenting is the most difficult and rewarding job that most of us ever have. The SAPR orders in your settlement agreement can provide you with the same legal protections for you and your children that you could obtain in a divorce.

The Division of Property

If you are separating from your spouse, there are bound to be financial concerns. Texas is a community property state, which generally means that the property you acquire as a married couple is marital property and that the property you bring into the marriage remains your separate property. In a divorce, marital property is divided in a just manner between the spouses. While you and your spouse can work out a contractual arrangement regarding these finances in your separation agreement, this arrangement will not necessarily hold if you do end up divorcing. 

If You’re Considering a Separation, Consult with an Experienced Round Rock, Texas, Family Lawyer Today  

Protecting your rights during separation in Texas is complicated, but the dedicated legal team at Jackson Law Firm in Round Rock is here to help. Our experienced family attorneys have the commitment, knowledge, and skill to help you create a separation agreement that protects your rights and works for you. For more information, please contact or call us at (512) 528-1900 today.

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