Generally, it doesn’t. Texas does not recognize “legal separation” as a marital status. In the eyes of the state, you are still viewed as married during the period of separation. So, your winning lottery ticket could be characterized as community property, as well as other assets you accumulate. A new partner could be considered adultery. And the award of a civil judgment against your spouse could affect property in your possession. While separation may change your living arrangements, it doesn’t change your legal responsibilities. Failing to understand the implications of a prolonged separation can be devastating.