Is Separation Required Before Divorce?

Is Separation Required Before Divorce?

Mar 19, 2024
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If you are considering a divorce, it is helpful to know the timelines of when you can file and if there will be any obstacles. You might have heard stories from friends in other states who had to go through a lengthy separation period before they could initiate a divorce. Many states require a separation period before a couple can officially file for a divorce. The duration of the separation can range anywhere from six months to a year, depending on the state that you live in and are filing in. 

Fortunately, the state of Texas does not require couples to meet a separation requirement. This means that couples are able to file for a divorce as soon as they want. There are other considerations to contend with, like residency requirements and the terms of the divorce, but luckily, there is no period of separation requirement. 

A Fort Worth divorce lawyer can ensure you meet all requirements for your divorce case in TX.

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Filing For Divorce While Living With Your Spouse

In Texas, you can file for a divorce even if you are currently living with your spouse. However, even though separation is not required before divorce, there is still a waiting period before your divorce can be finalized. 

Often, a divorce takes longer to finalize because couples are working out the terms of the divorce. These details often include child custody and child support, division of assets, and repayment of debts. The divorce process is frequently delayed while couples work to sort out the terms of their divorce. 

Ideally, you and your spouse are in agreement on these terms and do not have to face any delays while you work out the details. Regardless, it is advisable to work with an experienced attorney who can help guide you through the process. Once you do officially file your petition, the Texas courts will wait for 60 days before finalizing the divorce

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Other Residency Requirements in Texas

While couples are not required to go through a separation period before they file for a divorce, there are other regulations around residency in Texas. The spouse who files for divorce (the petitioner) or the other spouse (the respondent) must meet the Texas residency requirements in order to seek a divorce. 

First, one spouse must have lived in Texas for at least six months. Second, they must have lived in the county that they are filing in for at least the last ninety days. If both of those requirements are met, the couple can proceed in filing for their divorce. If these requirements are not met when the couple decides that they want to initiate a divorce, they must wait until the residency period is complete. 

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Even if you believe you have an amicable divorce, you can benefit from a legal representation on your side. The team at MBH Fort Worth Family Law is here and ready to help you navigate through the divorce process in Texas. We understand this can be a challenging time and want to make the process as easy as possible. Don’t hesitate to contact us today online or call us at 817-476-7964 to schedule your free initial consultation and learn more about your options. 

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Constance Mims

Constance Mims has over fifteen years of experience practicing exclusively family law. Mrs. Mims is Board Certified in Family Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is Collaborative Law certified and is a shrewd negotiator, not to mention her experience in the most challenging child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, alimony, prenuptial agreements, and divorce issues, both in court and in the appellate arena.

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    I highly recommend this law firm. I have had Brian and Kelly both represent me in now three seperate cases. They are men of integrity that are very prompt to answer questions and get back to you on important matters. They have always been well organized and stayed on top of the important information relevant to my cases. ...

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    Timothy Alexander did an exceptional job handling my divorce case. He was extremely prepared, very informative, and he made sure I was always kept in the loop. His professionalism, guidance and empathy tremendously helped during what could have been a much more difficult time. I was so pleased with the final outcome and ...

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    Highly recommend this law firm. Andrew McAlester goes above and beyond for his clients. He’s very resourceful and prompt in communication. I always refer Mr. McAlester to my family and friends in their time of need because I trust his judgement and I know he has his clients well being at the forefront of everything.

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    Tim Alexander represented me during my divorce. His compassion, empathy and communication during the process helped keep additional stresses out of an already stressful situation.

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    I highly recommend this firm. I mainly worked with Andrew McAlester. Andrew was super helpful and courteous during a very stressful situation that I found myself in. Thanks for everything!

    Dante Martinez
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    Timothy Alexander is an amazing lawyer. He helped me with everything I needed to do to get my divorce final in a very short period of time. I always try to refer to him when anybody asks for a divorce lawyer. Thank you for everything you’ve done.

    Autumn Colson
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    Kelly & Brian helped us in our child custody case and I am very pleased by their work. Our case ended up last almost 2 yrs due to COVID, however they were very easy to communicate with and constantly kept us up to date on our case and the courts. I would highly recommend them if you are needing a great custody lawyer ...

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    Mr. Alexander was the utmost professional. He was timely in his communication and very thorough in his answers. His approach helped make a difficult situation tolerable. One thing I greatly appreciated is that he did not just tell me what I wanted to hear. He would offer suggestions and allow me to make the final decisio ...

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    Kelly & Brian were amazing attorneys. I came to them when I really needed help with child custody issues, and they were committed to reaching the best possible outcome. I am writing this to express my most sincere thanks, and gratitude for their professionalism. They stuck by me through the last year in dealing with ...

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    Things happen and you need someone to tell it to you straight. Andrew McAlester is someone I trust to help me navigate through these difficult times.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Constance Mims who has over 15 years of experience practicing exclusively family law. Mrs. Mims is Board Certified in Family Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization..

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