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Houston Separation Agreements

houston family lawyersMaking the Decision to Separate Could Make Divorce Go Smoother Later

Making a decision to separate from your spouse normally happens over time, not under duress.  There will be many choices need to be agreed on that will affect your children, financial responsibilities, and future.  Kay Polk focuses her law practice on family law, specifically separation and divorce.  Contact the Kay Polk separation law firm if you are thinking of separating but are unsure of what to do.  Ms. Polk also can refer clients to qualified professionals who can help with mediation, which is an alternative way to resolve your differences before you file for divorce.

Separation Agreements

Separation agreements start the process of division of property and the details of separate living arrangements. If you have children, their needs have to be addressed.  Child custody, support and visitation arrangements can be included in the separation agreement.  The separation agreement can then be incorporated into your divorce case and provide a means to a smoother transition. 

Houston Separation and Divorce Requirements

Texas doesn’t support legal separations.  You instead file for a divorce, and need to specify grounds.  A divorce can be contested, or uncontested, dependant on your reasons for the divorce, and agreeability with your spouse on division of assets, debt, and child-related issues.  Here are some general requirements for separation in Texas:

  • Residency requirements: One of the spouses needs to be a Texas resident for six months plus a county resident for 90 days.
  • Uncontested divorce and separation: An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse both can claim incompatibility, and that you both cannot reconcile your differences.  One spouse can file for an uncontested divorce also.  You would both sign a stipulation that you want the marriage to end.  This would be the quickest and easiest way to separate.
  • Contested divorce and separation: A contested divorce requires litigation to separate your interests.  You would need to cite grounds for the separation such as abandonment, abuse, infidelity, long term incarceration, or mental illness.
  • A divorce cannot be granted overnight:  There is a 60-day waiting period from the date the paperwork is filed with the court.  However, if you and your spouse disagree on many issues, it could take from six months to one year.

Ironing out a separation agreement before filing a petition for divorce can make for a smoother divorce case.  If you have any questions about separation agreements, please contact the Houston separation and divorce firm Kay Polk, at 713-266-0846, or complete our Web form.

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