Texas couples who are having marital difficulties might want to try a separation first. There are several steps they should take. If only one person has handled finances in the marriage, the other person should get up to speed on this. It may be necessary to close any joint credit card accounts and for each to apply for credit cards in their own name.
The two might also want to visit their respective attorneys and create a legal separation agreement. The separation agreement might cover how any debts incurred will be dealt with and how marital property, including retirement savings, will be divided. It might cover spousal and child support and what to do about health, life and other types of insurance. Finally, each spouse might want to waive their right to inherit the other's estate.
People should also consider taking a few actions during the period of separation. They should avoid spending too much money because this might lead to an accusation that they are dissipating assets. They should also avoid sharing too much personal information on social media, and they may want to avoid starting a new relationship.
If a couple decides to get a divorce after a period of separation, the separation agreement might help them as a blueprint for their divorce. For example, if the couple has children, they may already have worked out a custody plan that works for them. Since Texas is a community property state, marital assets are supposed to be divided equally although there may still be some flexibility in how this is decided. The couple might prefer a divorce agreement that they negotiate over having a judge making these decisions.