Experienced Legal Separation Lawyers in Houston, Texas
Unlike other states, Texas does not recognize legal separation, which means our Houston family law attorneys must provide alternative solutions for couples who do not have the option to divorce, or who simply do not know if they are ready to proceed with ending their marriages permanently.
Married couples are not immune from difficult circumstances that may require a separation period that allows each to reevaluate their nuptials, their living arrangements, and their personal feelings without exploring the idea of divorce, as asking for a permanent end to their marriage may not be something that they can take back.
At Stepp & Sullivan, P.C., our legal separation lawyers in Houston understand that many factors may play a role in spouses’ personal lives that affect their ability to seek a divorce — whether it is out of want, need or obligations that are out of their control.
Sensitive and important issues like religion, tax statuses and consequences, or insurance coverage can significantly disrupt a married couple’s divorce options, and when they do, our Harris County family lawyers provide marital separation solutions that will allow our clients to move forward with their lives without confidence.
What Are My Divorce Alternatives in Texas?
Partnering with our experienced family law attorneys in Houston will allow us to objectively review your marriage, while fully understanding why divorce is not an option for your unique relationship’s circumstances.
Instead of a divorce, our legal separation lawyers in Houston will provide customized options that will allow you and your spouse to remain married while resolving some of the very complicated details that would typically come with a divorce.
Those decisions may be made through one of several separation orders or agreements, including:
- Temporary Orders
- Protective Orders
- Separation Agreements
At Stepp & Sullivan, P.C., our Houston legal separation lawyers understand that the separation path you choose, and the legal stance we design to pursue success on your behalf, will be unique to your circumstances. We are fully prepared to provide the options that are best suited for your marital relationship, starting with an initial consultation, which will allow you to make informed decisions about your future through the separation agreement that reflects your needs.
What is a Temporary Separation Order in Texas?
One potential solution that resembles legal separation in Texas is called a temporary order.
Temporary orders in Texas can cover many things, including child custody and visitation, property division details, and financial obligations during the couples’ separation, including who has to pay what bills while the divorce unfolds.
What is a Protective Order for Separation in Texas?
When one spouse is the victim of family violence, a protective order may be issued to protect him or her from their spouse while they seek a divorce. Protective orders are viewed as a type of legal separation, as they dictate important details regarding the couple’s lives, including who retains possession of the home, and where the children will live during the divorce proceedings.
What is a Separation Agreement in Texas?
A separation agreement is a contract that recognizes that spouses will live in separate locations but are not officially divorced.
A separation agreement specifies the rights and duties of each spouse, including financial support, property rights, and other unique details that will differ for each marriage.
How Are Separation Agreements Finalized in Texas?
A valid separation agreement in Texas must be drafted to designate the specific terms of the agreement. That means each detail of the separation should be outlined in writing and signed by both parties.
When divorce is not an option for our clients, or if they simply are not making such a permanent decision right away, a separation agreement can be a cost-efficient and timely way of establishing visitation, financial, and property rights.
The details of each separation agreement are unique and is a complex undertaking that should be completed by an experienced Houston separation attorney.
What if My Spouse and I Can Agree to All Separation Details? Will We Still Need a Separation Attorney in Houston?
You will still need a separation attorney in Houston, simply because the contract’s details are complicated, and it important to ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.
You do not want to finalize your separation only to learn that you have been taken advantage of because you did not fully understand the terms of your agreement.
Likewise, you will want to ensure that you are pursuing each option you are entitled to, without leaving a single detail to chance.
That is where our Houston legal separation lawyers come in. We will evaluate each factor related to your separation, so you are not forced to compromise in any area regarding any important decision.
What Happens if We Decide to Divorce After the Separation Agreement is Completed and Signed?
Proceeding with a divorce in Houston will require both spouses to abide by a completely different set of laws, but your separation agreement may help guide you through the process a little more easily.
If you and your spouse were already able to agree on certain aspects of your separation, including property division and how you will split time with your children, you may use those points to draft a legally binding agreement during the divorce mediation proceedings.
While mediation is not required by law in the State of Texas, most family law judges require divorcing couples to at least try to resolve their divorce details through mediation before granting a trial.
If you have a separation agreement in place, our divorce attorneys in Houston can transfer the details to a permanent, legally binding contract that will be reviewed by the court and signed by a judge as your final divorce decree.
What Happens if the Details of our Separation Agreement Change When it is Time to Officially Divorce?
Couples often find that a separation agreement works only for their interim needs, but that their long-term requirements must be reassessed when they do decide to divorce.
This is common because many spouses are not sure what they need to support two different households until they separate. This is often a difficult lesson, but one that can prepare you for the next legal steps that will pursue justifiable results.
If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, you must still seek a resolution during mediation. However, you are not required to come to an agreement during that time, but you must try before a divorce court will grant a trial.
If you and your spouse cannot agree on the details of your divorce during mediation, our Houston legal separation lawyers will litigate your requirements in court, so together we can pursue the outcome you want and deserve.
Contact Our Skilled Separation Attorneys in Houston to Schedule a Confidential Consultation Today
If you and your spouse are considering a trial or separation — or one that is more permanent — contact our Houston legal separation attorneys at Stepp & Sullivan, P.C. today by calling (713) 336-7200 or contact us online to learn more about the temporary and permanent options that will allow you to move forward with your life with confidence while ensuring your rights are protected each step of the way.