Because Texas does not recognize legal separations and a divorce can take a significant amount of time to finalize, people may choose to live apart under the terms of a separation agreement while working toward either reconciling or formally ending their marriage. These contracts might cover things like property division, child support, custody, and other matters which may also require court approval. Because the law around these contracts is nuanced and complex, you may benefit from consulting a local marital agreements attorney.
A Frisco separation agreements lawyer collaborates with you to establish a document that protects your interests and meets the legal requirements to be enforceable. Our experienced attorneys can also assist you by filing a lawsuit to enforce the provisions of an existing separation contract.
Separation agreements are contracts that describe customized rules for matters like property rights and child custody. Legally married people who sign the agreement are choosing to follow these rules even though they are no longer together.
Unlike a divorce, this arrangement does not put an end to the union. Instead, it creates space and ground rules for them to live separately while keeping their marital status in place. People may use a separation agreement to give them space to heal and possibly reestablish their relationship with their spouse later, or it may be a precursor to getting a formal divorce later on.
Under the Texas Family Code, married people can enter into contracts designating certain assets as separate rather than community property. They can also create agreements about child custody and support, but the court may not see these as enforceable if they do not align with their children’s best interests. People can help set themselves up for success by working with a knowledgeable separation agreements attorney in Frisco.
Because separation agreements are contracts, they must meet many of the same legal requirements as other written arrangements. For example, they need to be in writing and signed by both spouses. Unlike other contracts, however, these do not need to be supported by consideration (e.g., the exchange of something of value, like money).
There are many situations in which a court may choose not to enforce a separation agreement. For example, if one of the spouses coerced the other (directly or indirectly) into signing the contract, the court may decide that it is invalid. Likewise, the court may throw out the agreement if the terms are unconscionable and other factors exist, such as the spouse not receiving full and fair disclosure of the other’s assets.
Finally, if the arrangement specifies a child custody and support schedule that does not fit the legal criteria for the children’s best interests, the judge may not enforce it. In this case, the spouses may need to seek a temporary order or file a suit affecting the parent-child relationship to reach an agreement on issues regarding the children. Separation contract lawyers in Frisco could assist spouses in creating arrangements that fit their situation and fulfill the legal requirements under state and local law.
When you and your spouse need time apart while you prepare to reconcile or file for divorce, creating a separation agreement may be appropriate. These contracts empower you to set out the rules of engagement and help clarify your legal rights during the process. Because these arrangements concern key legal rights, many people find it beneficial to work with an attorney to prepare and enforce one that fits their unique situation.
Our family law firm dedicates its time, resources, and attention to supporting people at all stages of the divorce, separation, marital, and parentage processes. We understand the challenges parents and spouses face in the legal system, and we devote our energies to supporting them by providing exceptional advocacy. Contact a Frisco separation agreements lawyer today.
Our Law Firm’s approach to your case is based on individual circumstances. Whether it is a simple negotiated settlement, or it requires an aggressive approach, we will protect and defend your best interests.