What do I need to do if I am still married, but separated?
Texas does not recognize separation. You are either married or divorced.
There are things you need to avoid while you are separated.
- Spending money on a Paramour - it is not uncommon when parties have been separated that one or both can move on to a new relationship prior to being divorced. This can have consequences during the divorce process though. Because you are still married, the clock keeps ticking on community property. That means that if you are spending money on a paramour, your spouse may have a claim to that money.
- Filing tax returns without your spouses knowledge - many couples separate their finances when they separate and prior to being divorced. It is important that to avoid any issues with the IRS that you communicate with your spouse about how to file your taxes.
- Making Gifts or Spending Large Amounts of Money - During the divorce process, parties must account for their finances. Large expenditures can raise a red flag. It is important that when separated, you are careful about your spending. It is not the time to purchase the car of your dreams or to take that first class trip to Europe that's on your bucket list. Without your spouse's consent, your spouse may have a claim to large expenditures during the divorce.
If you are unsure about what your rights are while you are separated, please contact Deitchle+Simone for further information.