Spousal Separation Agreements & Advice
Although the phrase is frequently used, there is no such thing as a legal separation in Houston Texas. Either people are married or they are not. However, there is a legal way to live apart from your spouse. The legal method is to obtain a temporary order from the court which can usually be obtained within 30 days of the initial filing. At my Houston law office, I work with people at all stages of their married lives to make sure that they know their options and that they know how to protect their rights when they live separately from a spouse.
To learn about separating from your spouse, contact me at the Houston law office of Frank E. Mann, Attorney and Counselor at Law.
People usually consult me when they begin the divorce process or when they wish to stay married but live apart. I am very knowledgeable about separation while your are going through a divorce, and get people set up so there will not be surprises later on. Educating people about their situations and their possibilities is a hallmark of my law office; it applies to separations and all aspects of my Houston family law practice.
Separation during the divorce process
Unless the divorce will be completed very quickly, it is critical to have a divorce lawyer obtain temporary orders for child support, child custody, spousal support, and visitation. These orders, if approved by the divorce court judge, will be in force until the court issues a final order of divorce. The temporary orders are operational before a final order is issued.
Temporary orders may become permanent
Judges are inclined to review the success of temporary orders and apply them to the final decree. This is especially true for orders involving child custody and visitation, as the court is interested in the best interests of the child, and does not want to disrupt a child's life unduly. Thus, having temporary orders that meet your needs during the divorce is important. They may continue to apply as a final order after you are no longer married.
Separation when you can no longer live together
Some people find they can no longer live together as husband and wife, but do not wish to get divorced. The reasons for this vary, but they are usually based in the belief that divorce is wrong in their religious tradition. In circumstances like this, I prepare temporary maintenance orders dealing with child support, child custody, and alimony. When the parties agree on the details, the court will approve these orders, which will remain in force until the parties modify them or the orders expire.
Couples sometimes view this as a trial separation period for a divorce, separating to find out whether this is what they really want. They proceed to divorce or reconciliation after the trial separation period. Even if they intend the trial period to be short, it is important that they obtain orders about maintenance, custody, and support to protect themselves.
For more information about separations, contact my Houston law office. Call me at Frank E. Mann, Attorney and Counselor at Law.