If you live in Texas and want to separate from your spouse, you might face difficulties because the state does not permit formal legal separation for married couples.
Fortunately, there are alternative routes that couples can take to live separately without divorcing. Learning about these options can empower you to make a choice that serves your interests and protects your rights during your separation.
Limitations on legal separation in Texas
In some states, a married couple who does not want to pursue a divorce can seek a legal separation instead. Legal separation allows couples to resolve child custody issues and divide property without terminating their marriages. Married people may choose separation for a wide range of reasons, including cultural, personal and financial concerns. Currently, the law in Texas does not recognize the legal separation of spouses. However, there are steps you can take that allow you to separate from your spouse informally.
Alternative options for separating couples
If you plan to divorce eventually, it may be prudent to seek a temporary order that covers financial and parental obligations. In cases involving family violence, a protective order can also be useful. Parents should also consider a SAPCR, or Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship, to gain conservatorship without divorcing.
If you want to separate without divorcing in Texas, you can create informal agreements surrounding important issues such as financial and child custody that allow you and your spouse to navigate life separately while remaining formally married. By working together, you and your spouse can create a separation agreement that outlines responsibilities and rights for both parties.
Although formal legal separation is not an option in Texas, you can still find solutions that enable you and your spouse to live separately without divorcing.