Forms of Separation
Sometimes, a couple may choose to separate rather than get a divorce. This can happen due to financial issues, religious reasons, or otherwise. There are several different levels of separation, which may change the way state law looks at property or debt incurred after a couple splits.
Depending on the seriousness of the split, there are four variations of separation. These types of separation include:
- Trial – couples may choose to split for a few days, like when one spouse stays with a family member or friend for a week due to marital problems. This can lead to either areconciliation or a divorce. Courts consider any property or debt accrued during this time period to be joint property.
- Living apart – while couples are split up like a trial separation, living apart includes both members of a marriage having permanent or semi-permanent dwellings apart from each other. In some states, if the couple does not plan on reuniting, any assets incurred during this period may be separate.
- Permanent separation – spouses who live separately, possibly even in different states, are said to be permanently split if they have no plans to ever get back together. In most states, couples' property will be divided based on individual purchases or debt incurred during this time.
- Legal separation – this is almost like a divorce in that a court decides on how to split property and devise a child custody plan. However, even if you are granted a legal separation, you are still not divorced.
State law in Texas does not provide for legal separation. Also, if a couple is split, all property and debt accrued during a separation can still be considered community property. Thus, if you are looking for a truly legal split, you should consider a divorce.
For more information regarding division of the assets as well as other divorce-related topics, call a Denton divorce lawyer at Alexander & Associates today at 972-420-6560.
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