Separating from your spouse is never a pleasant situation, but it’s important to know the legal options available to you when it becomes necessary.
Not every state has the same rules regarding this kind of separation, though. You need to research to better understand how to go about separating in a legally-binding manner that gets you the most acceptable outcome possible.
Working with an experienced Texas attorney will help you formulate the right strategy and find the best solutions in your particular situation. Still, before meeting one, it’s a good idea to get a general sense of how legal separation in Texas works. We’ll cover that and how to find the right lawyer for you in this blog post.
How does legal separation in Texas work?
Strictly speaking, legal separation without divorce isn’t available to residents in Texas. The most similar concept recognized under Texas law is a separation agreement.
A separation agreement establishes the rights and responsibilities of spouses living apart but not officially divorced. Some of the provisions of this contract can include visitation rules, financial support, and more.
The differences between a separation agreement and a legal separation are somewhat subtle. A legal separation is a court-ordered arrangement, meaning many of the terms of that arrangement are dictated by the court. On the other hand, a separation agreement exists on the basis of a contract drafted and agreed upon by both parties, meaning it won’t necessarily involve the court at all.
Options for separating
Your options for separating from your spouse don’t end at a separation agreement. There are several ways you can set boundaries and terms for living separately, including:
- Temporary orders: These set many of the same terms for separation, including payment of bills and child visitation rules, as are set by legal separations and separation agreements.
- Protective orders: These set terms regarding who can keep living at the couple’s home and who will have to leave, child custody, and more. This court order is generally intended for a victim of family violence.
- SAPCR: A Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) is primarily a way to establish child custody rules outside of divorce.
Finding a lawyer
No matter how you plan to approach legally separating from your spouse, it’s best to hire a lawyer to give you the best chance at favorable results. The kind of lawyer you should look for is a family law attorney.
Specifically, you should look for a lawyer in your local area with experience handling your particular type of situation. You can start with methods like online searches or referrals from family and friends.
A basic expectation should be that the attorney you work with is in good standing with the State Bar of Texas, but it’s also a good idea to check for reviews. From here, you should ultimately make your choice based on your meeting with the attorney during a free consultation, where you’ll have the chance to ask questions related to your case.
Get help from a San Antonio attorney
If you’re looking into options for legal separation in Texas, you’ll benefit from the services of the experienced legal team at Tess House Law. You can expect nothing short of transparent, detailed discussion and expert guidance regarding your case. Schedule a free consultation with us now to learn more about how we can help you.