Many couples decide to split up while not getting a divorce and may wonder if they are able to get a legal separation. While there are not Texas statutes addressing separations, there are ways in which people may arrive at legally binding agreements between them while they are informally separated in Texas, however.
When couples are separated, they may need agreements regarding how to handle child custody and visitation for children that they may have had together. Other considerations may include where each spouse will live and if one will remain in the home while the other one will move. Dividing up responsibility for debts and bills is also important, as is providing for how bank accounts will be handled. In some cases, one spouse may need support from the other spouse in order to help make ends meet. If there are children, child support will be an issue as well during the separation.
Many facets of such agreements are unenforceable. There are ways in which certain types of agreements may be valid and binding, however. For example, utilizing a partition and exchange agreement may aid the parties in separating their property by agreeing to title exchanges and signing the agreement. If a person later divorces, the property that has been partitioned to him or her under such an agreement is then his or her separate property and may not later be divided as part of community property.
People choose to live apart while remaining legally married for a number of reasons. For some, doing so is a matter of being able to follow the precepts of their religious beliefs. Others may wish to live apart while working to eventually reunite. Whatever the reason, consulting with a family law attorney for help in reaching needed agreements may be helpful.
Source: Woman’s Divorce, “Is Legal Separation In Texas Possible?“, December 31, 2014