McKinney Separation Agreement Lawyer
Providing Resolutions for Clients in Collin, Denton, & Dallas Counties, TX
Texas does not provide for legal separation. However, the state cannot prevent married couples from informally living apart without initiating a divorce. You and your spouse have the right to separate and live apart while you take the time to consider whether to proceed with a divorce or work toward reconciliation.
However, it’s crucial to understand that an informal separation can entail financial implications. Under Texas community property laws, any assets or debts accumulated during the separation period are still subject to equal division between you and your spouse should you end up in divorce.
Separation agreements are contractual arrangements between spouses who have decided to live apart but remain legally married. They serve as a way for you to establish the terms of your separation and address related issues, from property rights to parental rights and more.
At Petitt Family Law, our seasoned family law attorney can assist with negotiating, drafting, and filing your separation agreement. Attorney Melody Petitt brings extensive experience, strong negotiation skills, and professional knowledge of Texas family law to this issue.
Reserve your confidential case evaluation with our McKinney separation agreement attorney by reaching us via our contact form or at (469) 716-6893.
Texas Separation Agreements
Separation agreements can be complex because Texas law does not offer a standard framework for legal separations. However, they function by allowing couples to stipulate certain conditions and responsibilities during their period of separation. This may include decisions related to property division, child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance.
Separation in this context is like divorce because either you and your spouse or a judge will determine the above issues. However, you and your spouse will remain legally married after your separation. Should you or your spouse decide to remarry during the separation, it is impossible without converting your separation agreement into a divorce.
Candidates for separation agreements are typically those couples who wish to live separately but do not want to or are not ready to divorce. This could be for personal, financial, or religious reasons. Economic reasons could include retaining federal benefits, tax benefits, or health coverage under an employer for a spouse. It's also a viable option for those who need time apart to decide if divorce is the right course of action.
The legal requirements of a separation agreement in Texas include that the agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties, and, ideally, approved by a court. The agreement should address all relevant issues and matters concerning the couple's situation.
Temporary Orders & Protective Orders During Separation
Temporary Orders and Protective Orders are two types of legal instruments that can be used in Texas during a period of separation to establish certain conditions and protections.
A Temporary Order is a court order that sets temporary rules for spouses during divorce, which can also apply when couples are informally separated. These orders often address issues such as child custody, visitation, spousal support, and property use. For example, a Temporary Order might specify who will stay in the marital home, who will pay specific bills, or how children's time will be divided between the parents.
These Orders are legally binding, and any violation is considered a serious offense. The repercussions for violation can include being held in contempt and court sanctions, which can consist of fines or even jail time, depending on the severity of the case.
On the other hand, a Protective Order, also known as a restraining order, is designed to protect individuals from family violence. In the context of separation, a Protective Order may be necessary if one spouse has been abusive or threatening. It can mandate that the abusive spouse stay away from the other spouse and their children, refrain from contacting them, and surrender any firearms. Violating a Protective Order can result in criminal penalties.
Both types of orders can be crucial during a period of separation. If tensions are high and a risk of conflict exists, a Temporary Order can help maintain stability by setting clear expectations for both parties. A Protective Order can provide an essential layer of protection for the vulnerable spouse and children if a threat of violence exists.
Melody Petitt handled my case quickly and thoroughly. I was so happy with her dedication to keeping my family and I safe and getting the proper legal measures in order. She was able to get my Protective Order filed and eventually won while keeping me informed and confident through the whole thing. I would highly recommend her to anyone.- Anonymous
You don’t know what you don’t know. However, you do know when something is not working out. With that said, I went through a couple of attorneys before being represented by Melody Petitt and that made all the difference.
I will start off saying that the divorce process is like a game. And the law is the rule book, which is a constant that does not change. Where the game gets interesting are the players involved, petitioner, respondent and legal team. Every case is unique, yet some attorneys approach the process as if it’s all the same. However, in my case, we were dealing with a high conflict personality; and, it cannot be taken lightly. Unlike my prior attorneys, Melody jumped on my case and took the time to really understand my situation and what we were dealing with. She took the time to educate me on the law and how it applied in my situation, whether it was something I wanted to hear or not. The law is the law. She knew how to deal with the opposing party. Strategy was the key, and she was prepared for anything. She earned my trust and with that trust, she help make this process tolerable. Most importantly, she was able to get my case wrapped up in a timely manner with a desirable outcome. An outcome that would not have been possible otherwise. I highly recommend Melody Petitt.- Dai
Thank you so much for all of your help! You and your team have been great and a huge help in aiding me to navigate through those difficult times. I’m glad it is finally over and I’m happy I had such an amazing team in my corner!- Ben
Excellent, professional and knowledgeable staff. Always ready to serve your family law requests.- Ross
Simply the best lawyer I have ever had. I have had the pleasure of having her work on my case for a year. She is full of information and guidance. She is not afraid to tell you if what you think is a bad move and direct you in the right direction. She will not let you down.- Anonymous
Responsive, efficient, so knowledgeable about the law and what you need to get through the process. Melody and Stacy are a dynamic pair that you can trust to have your best interests in mind always. Love them.- Kayti
Custody situations are not fun and as a father, it always seemed like an uphill battle but because of Melody I had not the best legal representation but a group of people who had my back and made sure that my son’s best interest was always THE priority. Melody was relentless in ensuring that the job was done right and successfully. Words can’t express my gratitude, thank you Melody! THANK YOU FOR MAKING THINGS RIGHT!- Josh
Melody handled my case with care & logic. She challenged me when I was leading with emotional rather than logic, and understood when she needed to pull back. She was an excellent partner through the whole process, and I have already recommended her to others.- Anonymous
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