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Is there legal separation in Texas?

If you are facing the potential end of your marriage, you may wonder if legal separation is a possibility. The short answer for couples in Texas is "No". The state does not recognize legal separation, but there are other options available.

Texas divorces really encompass two different types of proceedings, a community property division and a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR). As you may assume, the SAPCR addresses issues relating to a couple's children. These include child custody, child support and parental rights and duties. The property division encompasses a division of all a couple's assets and debts.

Options available

It is possible to only file a SAPCR and remain married. The situations where this would make sense, however, are quite limited. Both spouses would have to agree not to pursue divorce; if either did the SAPCR would be consolidated into the divorce case. Additionally, if a couple decided to divorce down the road they would need another SAPCR filed which would likely result in additional expenses.

Another option for couples not quite ready for divorce is to request the court set temporary orders. The parties file for divorce, but arrange for a cooling off period before moving forward with finalizing the divorce.

Couples hesitant to divorce could also consider contractual separation or property division agreements. A property partition agreement may detail a property division similar to what may occur in a divorce. Such agreements, however, are only enforceable as contracts and not court orders.

If you are struggling with the difficult decision of whether to end your marriage consult with the attorneys at Teller Law Firm, P.C. to learn more about the options available and what may work best for your unique circumstances.

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