Free Texas Marital Separation Agreement

Sample Texas Marital Separation

SEPARATION AGREEMENT

THIS SEPARATION AGREEMENT (the “Agreement”) dated this _____________of _____________, 20___.

BETWEEN:

________________
______________, _____________,
in the State of Texas, _____________

-and-

________________
______________, _____________,
in the State of Texas, _____________


    BACKGROUND:

  1. ________________ and ________________ (collectively the ‘Parties’ and individually a ‘Party’) were lawfully married on ______________ _________, ____________________, in ______________, Texas. Due to certain differences that have developed between the Parties, they agree to live separate and apart from each other, subject to the terms and conditions in this Agreement.
  2. The Parties have made complete, fair and accurate disclosure to each other on all financial matters reflected in this Agreement.
  3. The terms of this Agreement are intended to settle the matters addressed, but it will not be incorporated into a final decree of divorce. The Parties agree that a subsequent separation agreement will have to be made and duly incorporated into a final decree of divorce.
  4. The Parties have each consulted an attorney with regard to his or her legal rights arising out of the marital relationship and the terms of this Agreement.
  5. The Parties have each voluntarily entered into this Agreement and have not been forced by anyone to sign this Agreement, and both Parties confirm that they are in sound mental health.

IN CONSIDERATION OF the mutual promises and covenants contained in this Agreement, and other valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which consideration is acknowledged, the Parties agree as follows:

    LIVING SEPARATE AND APART

  1. The Parties have lived separate and apart since ________________________________. Neither Party will attend the other’s living space or work without invitation or approval.
  2. CHILDREN

  3. There is one child of the marriage, namely:

    Name:

    Date of Birth:

    ____________________

    _____________ _____________, ____________________

  4. CHILD CUSTODY

  5. The Parties agree that sole legal custody is in the best interests of the child. The Parties agree that ________________ is granted sole legal custody, and has the primary right to decide regarding matters of health, education and welfare in the child’s best interests. ________________ may make emergency decisions affecting the health or safety of the child when the child is in her physical care and control. The Parties agree that the grant of sole legal custody to one Party does not deprive the other Party of access to information regarding the children.
  6. The Parties agree that the child will primarily reside with ________________.
  7. The Parties also agree that ________________ will have the following visitation time with the child:
    1. Regular visitation schedule:
      ______________________________________________
    2. Vacation visitation schedule:
      ______________________________________________
  8. CHILD SUPPORT

  9. ________________ will pay child support in the amount of $_________ monthly to ________________. Child support payments will commence on ____________ and will be paid on the _____ day of each and every month.
  10. ________________ will pay a total of $_____________ monthly to ________________ for the child’s uninsured health care costs, child care costs, and other additional costs, such as __________________________. Child support payments for these expenses will commence on _______________________ and will be paid on the _____ day of each and every month.
  11. The Parties agree that each will provide the other copies of their income tax return and any notices of assessment and re-assessment issued, on an annual basis.
  12. ________________ will maintain health insurances, including medical and dental coverage, for the benefit of ____________________.
  13. Subject to the laws of Texas, child support payments, contributions to uninsured health care costs, child care costs, additional costs, and the maintenance of health insurance will continue as long as a child is under the age of majority and financially dependent on the parents.
  14. SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE

  15. Neither Party claims entitlement to spousal maintenance. Both Parties expressly waive any claim to spousal maintenance now and in the future, regardless of any change in circumstances experienced by either Party.

  16. ASSETS

  17. The Parties acknowledge that they have agreed upon a division of all assets, owned or possessed by them as marital property or separate property. The Parties are in possession of all of those assets to which each is respectively entitled. Accordingly, neither makes any claim to any assets in the possession of the other.
  18. DEBTS

  19. The Parties agree that any indebtedness secured against, or attributable to, any item of property that either Party is receiving under this Agreement will be the sole responsibility of the Party receiving the particular property.
  20. Neither Party will incur any further debt or liability on the other Party’s credit. Any debt accumulated as of the date of this Agreement is the debt of the individual Party, regardless if the debt was incurred as a result of joint credit.
  21. GENERAL PROVISIONS

  22. The Parties will promptly sign and give to the other all documents necessary to give effect to the terms of this Agreement.
  23. This Agreement contains the entire agreement between the Parties about their relationship with each other. It replaces any earlier written or oral agreement between the Parties.
  24. Should any portion of this Agreement be held by a court of law to be invalid, unenforceable, or void, such holding will not have the effect of invalidating or voiding the remainder of this Agreement, and the Parties agree that the portion so held to be invalid, unenforceable, or void, will be deemed amended, reduced in scope, or otherwise stricken only to the extent required for purposes of validity and enforcement in the jurisdiction of such holding.
  25. The Parties may only amend this Agreement in writing after both Parties have obtained legal advice on the changes.
  26. In the event that a dispute arises regarding this Agreement, the Parties will try to resolve the matter through negotiation or mediation, prior to initiating a court action.
  27. Notwithstanding that the Parties acknowledge and agree that their circumstances at the execution of this Agreement may change for any reason, including but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the passage of years, it is nonetheless their intention to be bound strictly by the terms of this Agreement at all times.
  28. This Agreement creates a fiduciary relationship between the Parties in which each Party agrees to act with the utmost of good faith and fair dealing toward the other in all aspects of this Agreement.
  29. The Parties agree to provide and execute such further documentation as may be reasonably required to give full force and effect to each term of this Agreement.
  30. The headings of this Agreement form no part of it, and will be deemed to have been inserted for convenience only.
  31. This Agreement will be binding upon and will enure to the benefit of the Parties, their respective heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns.
  32. If the Parties reconcile, the terms of this Agreement will remain in effect unless the Parties revoke it in writing.
  33. This Agreement may only be terminated or amended by the Parties in writing signed by both of them.
  34. The laws of the State of Texas will govern the interpretation of this Agreement, and the status, ownership, and division of property between the Parties wherever either or both of them may from time to time reside.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the Parties have duly affixed their signatures on this_____________ of _____________, 20___.


SIGNED by ________________
In the presence of:

 
   


______________________________
WITNESS

 
 

______________________________
________________

   

______________________________
WITNESS


SIGNED by ________________
In the presence of:

 
   


______________________________
WITNESS

 
 

______________________________
________________

   

______________________________
WITNESS

ACKNOWLEDGMENT


THE STATE OF TEXAS

COUNTY OF____________________

I, Attorney, within and for said County and State, do certify that on this day came before me, ________________, personally known to me, whose name is signed to the foregoing Separation Agreement and so acknowledged his signatures on this Separation Agreement and that ________________ entered into this Separation Agreement on his own free will and volition without force or duress by any Party.

Given my hand and seal this ___ day of ____________________, 20___.

_____________________________
Attorney

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

THE STATE OF TEXAS

COUNTY OF____________________

I, Attorney, within and for said County and State, do certify that on this day came before me, ________________, personally known to me, whose name is signed to the foregoing Separation Agreement and so acknowledged her signatures on this Separation Agreement and that ________________ entered into this Separation Agreement on her own free will and volition without force or duress by any Party.

Given my hand and seal this ___ day of ____________________,20___.

_____________________________
Attorney

CERTIFICATE OF INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE

THE STATE OF TEXAS
COUNTY OF____________________

I, _______________________________, of the City of ___________________________, in the State of Texas, Attorney, DO HEREBY CERTIFY:

THAT I was this day consulted in my professional capacity by ________________, named in the within instrument, being a Separation Agreement, separate and apart from ________________, as to his legal rights and liabilities under the terms and conditions of it, and that I acted solely for him, and explained fully to him the nature and effect of this foregoing Separation Agreement and he did execute it in my presence, and did acknowledge and declare that he was executing it of his own volition and without any fear, threats, compulsion or influence from ________________ or any other person.

DATED at the City of _________________, in the State of Texas this ___day of _________, 20___.

 

________________________
Print Name: ____________
Attorney

I, ________________, the person named in the annexed Agreement, hereby acknowledge the foregoing this ____day of ______________20___.

 

________________________
________________

CERTIFICATE OF INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE

THE STATE OF TEXAS
COUNTY OF____________________

I, _______________________________, of the City of _________________________, in the State of Texas, Attorney, DO HEREBY CERTIFY:

THAT I was this day consulted in my professional capacity by ________________, named in the within instrument, being a Separation Agreement, separate and apart from ________________, as to her legal rights and liabilities under the terms and conditions of it, and that I acted solely for her, and explained fully to her the nature and effect of this foregoing Separation Agreement and she did execute it in my presence, and did acknowledge and declare that she was executing it of her own volition and without any fear, threats, compulsion or influence from ________________ or any other person.

DATED at the City of __________________, in the State of Texas this ___day of _________, 20___.

 

________________________
Print Name: ____________
Attorney

I, ________________, the person named in the annexed Agreement, hereby acknowledge the foregoing this ______day of ______________20___.

 

________________________
________________

Everything You Need to Know About the Marital Separation Agreement in Texas

At some point, the flame dies out, and maybe the fire (love) turns cold – it may need rekindling or not. While you may know the reason for the unexpected turn of events despite being considered “couple goals,” and at some point, you may decide to take things in a different direction.

But, is divorce your only option? What happens when you are not ready to end your marriage? What happens when you need a break from each other – perhaps to figure things out – and you need a written document to show what you are agreeing on while apart, especially before filing for divorce?

For some people, a legal separation is an option. But, this option won’t bite in this state. Like many other states, recognize legal separation in Texas is not legally recognized. On the bright side and while you require confirmation from the courthouse or county, the state largely recognizes marital separation agreements and contracts.

A marital separation agreement, property settlement contract or a marital and property separation agreement refers to a legally binding contract. This contract divides property, spells out the rights of either party, and it settles matters like spousal support and child custody.

While the MSA is often a prerequisite for filing divorce documents, this is not a requirement cast on stone, and so, the separation contract papers could be drawn before or even filing for a dissolution of marriage. The other thing you may not know is that you may have an MSA drawn while living together!

In the initial execution steps, filing the Texas marital separation agreement in court is unnecessary. All you need to do is to resolve whether or not the contract should survive a divorce judgment as a separate contract (and temporary) or if you want it merged into the divorce judgment allowing for a modification that mirrors a court order.

Why Choose Marital Separation?

When not ready for divorce: if you and your spouse are having issues and not ready to be divorcees but wishing to live apart temporarily, a marital separation agreement in Texas will come in handy. The contract indicates that the couple has decided to live independent of each other. It also lets them divide financial responsibilities and family matters while separated.

When divorce is not an option: for some, the idea of divorce doesn’t align with their beliefs or values. Even when a marriage is not working, such a couple chooses to remain married in name only for the rest of their lives, and they live apart permanently. The other reason why some couples live this way is for tax or even insurance purposes.

When a couple decides to divorce and know how they wish to divide their assets, properties, assets, and responsibilities for kids (if any). Instead of filing a divorce and letting the court decide what goes where and who does what, a couple may create a marital separation contract to address the division of elements in their lives. This separation contract will be submitted to the court as part of the divorce decree.

Note that the MSA doesn’t matter when dealing with issues like child custody and visitation: these issues often undergo several layers of modification until children reach the age of 18. If the situation changes, the court will modify the terms of the agreement, now a court order.

MSA and divorce

For couples without marital property, children, or debts, a marital separation contract is unnecessary for a no-fault divorce. But, if you need something for the future governance of the relationship or the provision of evidence on the day of your separation to the court, you’ll need the MSA. This document ensures that there are no doubts pertaining to the details of events coming to the end of your marital relationship.

Note: your decisions do not affect asset distribution, and the court will not modify the terms of asset distribution.

When do Marital Separation Agreements Matter?

1. Child Support

If you choose to merge this agreement into your divorce judgment, the court may have to modify the child support in the contract upwards or downwards depending on the prevailing circumstances. But, when the agreement survives the court’s judgment, then the standard for an upward adjustment to the contract is an unanticipated or unforeseen change in circumstances. Note that requests for downward adjustment of child support are difficult to prove.

2. Spousal Support and Maintenance/ Alimony

The court may, in future, modify the amount and the duration of the alimony if there is a change in circumstances, but only if you stipulate in advance the need to merge the agreement with the divorce decree. However, the contract will not undergo modification if it survives the court’s judgment.

3. Right to Sue

For a marital separation contract that survives the court’s judgment as a separate contract, the other party still holds the right to sue under contract law for the enforcement of a contract obligation and they can obtain a money judgment for what is owed, despite modification by the court. The suing party has the right to seek and collect the money judgment after suing.

On the other hand, if the separation contract is merged with the divorce decree and modified, then the payer cannot sue separately for the enforcement of the contract. This is because at this time there is no surviving marital separation contract.

How long is the MSA Legally Binding in Texas?

This is a document that will bind you for years determining your obligations, rights, and responsibilities from marriage.

If you consent, you and your spouse may amend the terms of the agreement; otherwise, the court amends it. The only exception to the court’s modification is where the contract states that it is not subject to modification.

Over and above the conditions of the contract, the court will modify the contract when matters about care and custody of minor children crop up.

Marital and Non-Marital Property

Under the Texas legal separation laws or the marital separation agreement laws, and being a community property state, all property that is acquired by couples during the marriage is marital property while property owned before marriage is non-marital property. Inheritances and gifts to either spouse during marriage is, however, non-marital property.

If you are considering marital and property separation before or after divorce in Texas, download our free marital separation forms here to get started today.

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Sample

TX Marital Separation Agreement

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