If you are thinking of separating from your spouse.. here are some things a Texas family law attorney wants you to know…
- There is no “legal separation” in Texas. Here in Texas, you can’t file a family law case and ask to be granted a “legal separation”. You can, however, file for divorce and ask for “Temporary Orders” which are court orders that are in effect from the time you separate until further order of the court (which will be the time of final divorce OR dismissal of divorce OR granting of newer temporary orders).
- There are things that you can do to make your separation less problematic, even without court intervention. You don’t have to file for divorce if you are not ready.
- You and your spouse should decide who is responsible for what, financially speaking. Decide who is staying at the home and who is paying which bills. It is best for everyone if you can figure out a way to get through the separation without loss of property (such as threatened home foreclosure, auto repossession, loss of insurance benefits).
- If children are involved, you and your spouse should decide about visitation and child support. How can you get through the separation in a way that is least disruptive and traumatic to your children?
- If children are involved, you and your spouse should decide how to tell them, and when.
- You should decide how and when to tell friends and family.
- It may be helpful to have a written agreement between the two of you. This will keep things straight between the two of you but still is not the same thing as having a court-enforceable legal separation.
- You can get help from a family law attorney. A family law attorney can guide you through the process. You don’t have to be ready to file for divorce to benefit from legal advice and legal advice at this stage can actually save you money in the long run.
- Consider counseling if you believe the marriage has a chance and you want to save it.
- Consider all of your options and be ready to be flexible in deciding the next move.
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