Date of Separation in Texas Divorce


Old 10-13-15, 08:45 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 142
Date of Separation in Texas Divorce

Before I ask this, let me say that I understand that this is just an advice and I should consult lawyer based on my actual circumstances.

I am in Texas and I am seeking mutual no-fault-no-contest divorce. My wife and I are still on talking terms, so I have not moved out yet. We stopped sleeping together for more than a year now. I told her about my decision to go ahead with divorce in May 2015, but I haven't filed the divorce petition because of other commitments that we both had.

When I check the petition form for the no-fault-no-contest divorce for Texas, there is one line that asks for the "Date of Separation". In my case what would that date be?

Can I keep that date blank on the petition form?

Doing some internet research, some sites claim that date of separation could be:
  • Date when you stopped sleeping together
  • Date of physical separation (moving out)
  • Date when I declared my final intent of divorce
  • Date when petition is filled

Considering that Texas does not recognize legal separation, does it matter what that date is?
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Old 10-13-15, 09:03 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 18,714
Does that date come into play for the process? As an example, a buddy of mine in a different state had to be separated for a certain period of time before the divorce could be filed or finalized (can't recall which any longer...).

The May 15th date seems reasonable in your case but that often means little.
Old 10-13-15, 09:42 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 142
From what I read, this is how that date play in process (generally, not hard-and-fast rule. Judge can decide based on actual case circumstances). Texas does not recognize legal separation. Since Texas is community property state:
  • Any property acquired from date of marriage till date of divorce (when judge signs the divorce decree) is community property and is divided.
  • Any debt acquired from date of marriage till date of separation is community debt and is divided.
  • In general, any debt acquired after date of separation is awarded to the person who acquired it.

In my case date of separation may help me in protecting myself in case my wife decides to acquire huge debt.

I was also thinking that the date when I declared my final intention of going ahead with divorce probably would be the date of separation.

Since there are no proper guidelines on what that date is, I was looking for some advice... May be someone who actually went through divorce in Texas could help
Old 10-13-15, 09:54 AM
Shadeladie's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
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If there's no legal separation (and even if there was) I'm pretty sure her debt will also be your debt (and vice versa) if both your names are on the credit card. I'm assuming this is how she'd acquire large debts. And then, say she bought a car, as long as your signature is not on the bill of sale, I don't see how you'd be responsible for half of that. I might be wrong, but I think that's about how it works.
Any debts you have up till now, would be shared.
Old 10-13-15, 10:50 AM
Gunguy45's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,019
Cohabitation is normally the defining factor. Just because you aren't in the same bed doesn't mean hanky panky can't be going on.

As you need to get a!

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