Legal separation also referred to as judicial separation, is an arrangement wherein you and your spouse can live apart from each other without formally getting a divorce.
Such an arrangement, unfortunately, is not possible in Texas, as it is one of the six states in the country (the other five being Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Delaware, and Pennsylvania) that do not recognize the concept of legal separation.
Still, with the help of an experienced legal separation attorney in Austin, you can separate from your spouse through a process called contractual separation.
What is Contractual Separation?
It is, simply put, an informal way of separating from your spouse. You and your spouse can agree to live apart from each other for a period of time and decide if you want to remain married or end your marriage.
Before separating, it is important for you and your spouse to discuss potentially contentious issues like division of assets, estate planning, alimony, and child support so that you both know what you stand to get and what you stand to lose in the event of a divorce.
For instance, you and your spouse can sign a partition and exchange agreement to divide the marital property between yourselves. If you do decide to end your marriage in the future, you can divide your assets in an amicable manner based on the terms of the agreement.
A contractual separation requires you to sign a legally binding agreement, which can be prepared by a legal separation attorney in Austin. It’s critical for you to be represented by a skilled attorney so that they can negotiate the terms of the agreement with your spouse’s attorney and ensure that your rights and interests are protected.
Why Legal Separation Can Be Beneficial for Couples
If you are stuck in an unhappy marriage, a period of separation – during which you and your spouse can live apart from each other – can be very beneficial for several reasons.
- It gives you the time you need to think about the future of your marriage and decide what is best for you and your children.
- It allows you to work on your own issues, which might have contributed to your marital problems. You can get the help you need through counseling, therapy, and other such programs.
- It allows you to negotiate key issues like division of marital property, child custody, alimony, child support, and estate planning with your spouse without any sense of acrimony.
After the period of separation, if you wish to reunite with your spouse, you can terminate the partition and exchange agreement and start living with your spouse again in the same household.
If, on the other hand, you decide that ending your marriage is the best option for all the parties involved, you can formally file for divorce.
Separating from your spouse is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make in your life. So, it is important to be represented by an experienced divorce attorney who can clearly explain the upsides and downsides of your decision and provide you with the counsel you need.
Trustworthy Legal Separation Attorney in Austin
Family law attorney Eric M. Willie, P.C., and his legal team will aggressively fight for your rights and interests and make sure that the divorce settlement is not unfair to you in any way. We have represented thousands of clients in Texas over the last three decades and we still continue to receive referrals from them, which is a testament to the results we deliver.
If you are thinking of separating from your spouse and are in need of legal guidance, contact our Austin legal separation attorneys at 512-379-6356 or submit this online contact form for a free consultation.