Separation Agreements Serving Families Throughout McKinney, TX & Surrounding Areas

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.

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