We at Law Offices of Jimmy Carter know how challenging going through a divorce can be. After all, we see these sorts of cases all the time. However, we often get asked how the separation and divorce process works. That is why we are here today to explain the overall basics of divorce in Texas.
No Legal Separations
Texas is one of the states that does not offer legal separations, but in many cases, we can work out some sort of informal separations agreement. This is a good choice for those couples who are still trying to determine how to move forward with their relationship, whether that be through counseling, getting the divorce, or some other agreement. This allows the two people to live apart from one another and take the space they may need to heal and focus on the next step.
Occasionally, a couple can work out some sort of informal separation for anywhere from five years to a lifetime. This is beneficial because the Texas courts do recognize temporary orders at the time the divorce is filed. In order to do this, you can file for a Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) and a community property division case. This means you won’t have to call for a termination of your marriage. However, a divorce must be filed if the court is going to make temporary orders regarding your property, child or spousal support, custody, and any other necessary arrangements. Keep in mind that these are temporary orders. However, you are able to enter “contractual separation,” which means that you both enter an agreement dividing up your assets and determining child custody, but it does not end the marriage.
What is a Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship?
This is essentially the rights and responsibilities of the parents that have been decided by the Texas courts. If you and your spouse have children together and are filing for divorce, the case will automatically include SAPCR. If this needs to be changed at any point, it changes to a Suit to Modify Parent-Child Relationship.
How Does Property Division Work?
If you are concerned about your property, then the court will help you determine who will receive what during the divorce. The court investigates to see what property was owned by each party before the marriage, as well as what was obtained during the marriage and what is jointly owned by the couple. When it comes to community property, such as 401(k) accounts, life insurance, retirement benefits, savings accounts, cars, stocks, bonds, personal property, etc., this property is divided equally among the two parties unless they come to an agreement without the court getting involved.
What is a Partition and Exchange Agreement?
This is an agreement that allows one person to transfer their property to their spouse and make it their spouse’s property. This must be in writing, however, and signed by both people to make it valid and recognized. During your divorce, if you reach an agreement about how debts and property should be divided, as well as custody, then you can draw up a legal partition and exchange agreement. However, if this is going to be a complicated division of assets, then we highly recommend contacting a lawyer to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Contact Us During Your Divorce
Getting through your divorce may be one of the hardest things you need to do, but we are here to guide you throughout the process. If you are looking for a divorce attorney to help you with your Texas divorce, be sure to contact Law Offices of Jimmy Carter today. We pride ourselves on keeping you as comfortable as possible during this trying time, so reach out to us today to learn more.