Texas Separation Agreement Law

Divorce – Separation Agreements – Texas

Note:  This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law of separation agreements in Texas does include basic and other provisions.

General Summary:

Separation and Property Agreements may be entered into before a divorce is filed to be effective

Statutes:

Texas Family Code
Title 1.
The Marriage Relationship
Chapter 7. Award of Marital Property

General Rule of Property Division:

In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall order a division of the estate of the parties in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage.  § 7.001.

Agreement Incident to Divorce or Annulment:

(a) To promote amicable settlement of disputes in a suit for divorce or annulment, the spouses may enter into a written agreement concerning the division of the property and the liabilities of the spouses and maintenance of either spouse. The agreement may be revised or repudiated before rendition of the divorce or annulment unless the agreement is binding under another rule of law.

(b) If the court finds that the terms of the written agreement in a divorce or annulment are just and right, those terms are binding on the court. If the court approves the agreement, the court may set forth the agreement in full or incorporate the agreement by reference in the final decree.

(c) If the court finds that the terms of the written agreement in a divorce or annulment are not just and right, the court may request the spouses to submit a revised agreement or may set the case for a contested hearing.  §7.006.

Case Law:

A “property settlement agreement”, although incorporated into a final decree of divorce, is treated as a contract and its legal force and its meaning are governed by the law of contracts, not by the law of judgments.  If a contract is unambiguous, the courts will give effect to the intention of the parties as expressed in the agreement.  The entire agreement must be interpreted in  such a way that all its provisions are given effect and that none are rendered meaningless.  Dechon  v. Dechon, 909 S.W.2d 950, 956 (Tex.App. – El Paso 1995, no writ).


Inside Texas Separation Agreement Law