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Legal Separation

San Antonio Legal Separation Attorneys

Protecting Your Rights & Interests During Divorce

Separation doesn't have to mean the end of your marriage. If you are contemplating a legal separation, it's important to have an attorney who can help you navigate the process and protect your rights and interests. At Wilson Law, we have helped many clients achieve the goals they set for themselves. We will work with you to create a plan that works for you and your family.

Request a consultation with our firm by calling (210) 405-4919 or contact us online to get started.

Legal Separation vs. Divorce

Texas is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you don't have to prove your spouse's fault (such as adultery) for a divorce to be granted. A legal separation is similar to a divorce in that the spouses are legally separated, but they are still legally married.

In Texas, there are two types of legal separation: temporary and permanent.

  • Temporary legal separation: This type of legal separation is generally entered into when the spouses agree to live apart but do not want to get a divorce.
  • Permanent legal separation: This type of legal separation is generally entered into when the spouses do not agree on anything and want to live separate lives.

During a legal separation, the couple are still legally married, and they must still comply with certain legal obligations.

These include:

  • Continuing to file joint tax returns
  • Continuing to support each other financially
  • Continuing to maintain the marital home

Failure to comply with these obligations can lead to a default judgment in the divorce if the other spouse files for divorce.

The main difference between a legal separation and divorce is that with a legal separation, the couple is still legally married and living together. With a divorce, the couple is no longer married.

What Is a Legal Separation?

A legal separation is a court order that allows a married couple to live apart but remain legally married.

A couple may seek a legal separation for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • The spouses do not agree on anything and want to live separate lives
  • One spouse cannot or does not want to move out of the marital home
  • One spouse cannot or does not want to change his/her last name

A legal separation is not the same as a temporary order (judge's orders) in a divorce. A temporary order addresses the parties' obligations during the divorce process, such as child support and spousal support, as well as the custody and parenting time of minor children. A legal separation addresses only the spouses' living arrangements and other issues not related to the divorce, such as property and debt division.

Benefits of a Legal Separation

A legal separation offers many of the same benefits as a divorce, including:

  • Separating your property and assets
  • Deciding how you will provide for your children
  • Deciding who will have custody and parenting time

It is important to note that a legal separation does not dissolve your marriage, which means that you and your spouse are still legally married. A legal separation does not allow you to remarry.

To learn more about legal separation and whether it might be right for you and your spouse, contact Wilson Law at (210) 405-4919. We serve clients in San Antonio and beyond.

Have Questions?

We Have Answers!
  • What is a “legal separation?”
    Texas, unlike other states, does not recognize a “legal separation.” Instead, temporary orders concerning marital issues (financial issues, child conservatorship, matters of residence) can be granted while a divorce is pending.
  • What does a “temporary order” mean in Texas?

    Texas law does not recognize “legal separations.” Instead, after a divorce is filed, either party may request a “temporary order,” which determines the temporary situation until the divorce is decreed.

    For example, a temporary order can dictate who will remain in the house, pay what bills, and visitation matters for the non-custodial parent. It’s important to understand that a temporary order is not always required. 

    Also, if the parties involved agree to the temporary order, there may not need to be a hearing. However, some situations are so volatile that a judge is asked to impose a temporary order after listening to the evidence presented.

  • In Texas, is marital property automatically divided 50/50?
    Texas law does not insist that property must be divided equally. Instead, a judge will divide the community estate into a “just and right” division.