When you are experiencing marital conflict with your spouse and want to move toward divorce, some couples consider legal separation as a viable option. Legal separation is beneficial if both spouses believe they no longer want to live together but would still like to stay married, either out of fear of going through divorce proceedings or hope of eventual reconciliation. In some states, this is legally recognized and spouses can apply for alimony, child support/custody, and property division under this classification.

However, Texas does not have provisions for legal separation, so a divorce must occur to legally separate the above factors. Texas, however, recognizes temporary orders that must be filed at the time the divorce is filed. This can help you make temporary changes while the procedures are taking place.

Because there is no official documentation recognizing a legal separation in Texas, you are technically still married to your spouse during this time. In that case, he does not have the legal right to divide the property or demand child support, even if the spouse agrees. This can be harmonious if both spouses agree to the same terms but, if one changes his mind; he will have no legal protection without a divorce. He also cannot remarry unless the court grants the dissolution of the marriage.

In cases of abuse, whether of a spouse or a child, divorce is extremely important to protect the safety of the victims. This must not only be brought to court in matrimonial proceedings, but also in criminal law.

Although Texas does not recognize separation, the state does offer a “no-fault divorce” law, which allows a spouse to file for divorce without providing reasons, such as adultery or cruelty. In this case, the spouse only has to prove “irreconcilable differences” and that the marriage is no longer salvageable.

Whether you are going through a separation or divorce, the help of an experienced attorney can help you navigate this often confusing process. Because each state has different laws regarding marriage and the dissolution of marriage, you will want to work with an attorney who specializes in the laws of your state. Divorce can often be a difficult and stressful time in one’s life, but you can alleviate some of those concerns knowing that you have intelligence and experience on your side in the form of a divorce attorney.