In Texas, people who are in the middle of a troubled marriage might not yet be certain they want to get a divorce. In many states, that would open the door to the possibility of a legal separation. However, Texas does not have a law allowing couples to legally separate. While that might be perceived as giving people few alternatives short of simply staying together or getting divorced, there are other strategies that people can use if they are not yet getting divorced but are technically not together.
What is the law for temporary orders?
To address this challenge, it is useful to be aware that while there is no “legal separation” in the Lone Star State, there are ways for people to be apart and cover their legal bases with having child custody, addressing child possession and paying support. It can even address safety. This is essential if the sides are not yet sure what they are going to do but finances and how children will be overseen are a primary concern.
Before there is a final order, there can be a temporary order. This can cover various issues. For example, there can be a temporary conservatorship and support of a child. This is a suit affecting the parent-child relationship. The child will live with one parent as if the sides were divorced with the other allowed certain time to see the child. This is contingent on safety. Support must be paid to ensure the child’s best interests are served and the other spouse is able to provide for him or herself and the child. If there is the potential for domestic abuse, there can be a restraining order. The person who is served can be prevented from taking the child out of a certain area. There can even be attorney’s fees paid.
Temporary orders may be critical for couples not yet ready to divorce
In family law when the parties have separated, chose to live apart for a certain amount of time and wanted to have some sort of legal protection, a temporary order can help. With that, they can discuss their issues, perhaps go through a reconciliation process and rebuild their relationship without completing the divorce. That is a positive aspect of not going forward with an immediate divorce if there is some common ground and the sides believe the marriage is worth salvaging.
In other situations, the people conclude that they are not able to save the marriage and a divorce is preferable. Safety might be a concern. As with any family law case, even if there were temporary agreements, it is wise to understand how to make them permanent and end the marriage. This can be challenging for anyone with the personal, emotional and financial ramifications coming to the forefront. Having comprehensive guidance from the start can help even if the parties are not sure about a divorce and were unsure of what to do once they learned there was no legal separation in Texas.