Texas Fathers Rights Attorneys
There may come a time in a marriage where both parties wish to live apart but are not ready or willing to divorce just yet. In such a situation, a separation might be the best option. If no assets, debts or children are involved, a separation agreement may not be needed. A marital separation agreement comes into play if there are issues of property, alimony, custody or child support.
A separation agreement, also known as a property settlement agreement, is a written document that lays out the important issues within a marriage, dividing property, clarifying parenting rights, and making alimony and custodial arrangements. The agreement should also state whether the agreement is temporary or if it should be incorporated into the divorce judgment. In the state of Texas, having a marital separation agreement simplifies divorce proceedings and helps show the courts that your divorce is uncontested. A marital separation agreement may be drawn before or after you have filed for divorce and does not initially have to be filed with the court to take effect. However, once filed with the Court, a separation agreement becomes a binding legal agreement or “decree” of the Court. Upon filing, a couple must separate and live apart according to the terms of their agreement for one year or more. Any time after the one-year period is over, either party may seek an uncontested divorce, having the option to use the terms outlined in the separation agreement. This is also referred to as a conversion divorce.
In some cases, a couple may agree to resolve most of their settlement issues before reaching a courtroom. Their separation agreement might be prepared while still living together. Once the agreement is made, a couple can hold on to the unsigned agreement, exercising it at their own discretion. Even after the separation agreement is signed, some couples are content to not pursue an absolute divorce.
Bailey & Galyen, Texas Divorce Law Specialists
Before drafting or signing a separation agreement, why not seek the advice of an experienced, Texas board certified attorney? At Bailey & Galyen, we have successfully helped many clients draft separation agreements, carefully going over each detail, to protecting rights of both parties involved.
Contact us today for your free consultation.