Legal Separation Isnt Legal in Dallas, Texas
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Did you know that you are not able to file for a legal separation in Dallas, Texas? That’s right! Texas law has no provision for legal separation. In fact, every state has its own laws regarding divorce, and in the state of Texas, the legal concept of separation is simply not recognized. The courts in Dallas, Texas, only recognize an actual divorce. Generally, in almost all states, legal separation is a solution for those considering divorce, particularly if one party has already moved out, but in Dallas, Texas you are married until a court enters a final divorce degree. In fact, all states except Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Texas recognize a legal separation.
A Community Property State
Texas is a community property state, so if you’re living apart it doesn’t mean your property is separate property. In Texas, the equitable distribution system considers all the assets and earnings accumulated during the marriage to be marital property and therefore the courts divide property equitably. This does not mean that equitable division of property means an equitable result. If you file for divorce the court decides on things having to do with property, child support, alimony and such.
Texas Law Regarding Divorce
As every state has it’s own laws pertaining to separation and divorce, in Texas, you can enter into a “separation agreement” or a “partition and exchange agreement,” which means that your actions at the separation stage can direct the case to the final outcome, but you are still married until the divorce is final. In a legal separation, the couple remains married, but the court decides on the rights and liabilities of the parties involved particularly when it comes to child custody, support, visitation, alimony, property and debts. As each case is different, you want to be sure to have an attorney who works aggressively so that your interests and rights are protected. In other words, a divorce attorney will guide you correctly regarding your particular divorce situation.
Once the Divorce is Finalized
Once you file for divorce, couples are able to get temporary orders from the court that cover all the important issues, such as the amount required for child support, who gets to live in the house, what the visitation schedule regarding the kids will be, and whether spousal support will be required. This temporary order remains in effect until the court issues the final divorce decree. Temporary orders can remain in effect for a year or more, particularly if the couple is having difficulty agreeing to the terms of a divorce.