North Carolina Separation Agreements
In order to get divorced in North Carolina, you must be physically separated (not living together) for one year. That’s a long time to have unresolved marital issues – how do you fix that? With a properly drafted Separation Agreement.
There is no question that the best way to resolve marital issues such as property division, spousal support / alimony, child custody, support & visitation, etc. is for you and your spouse to work out something fair and have that put into a formal written Separation Agreement. For most folks, when you fight it out in Court – all you are really doing is paying strangers often quite a lot of money to decide things for you that you and you spouse could have decided yourselves for free or at very low cost with the guidance of an attorney with your best interest in mind.
A properly drafted Separation Agreement can also keep overall costs down. For an average couple, we can draft a fully comprehensive Separation Agreement for a flat rate fee of $250. There are a lot of details and options in a Separation Agreement that we will need to help guide you through, so you will need to call us at (910) 333-9679 to set up a consultation. There is a $75 consultation fee but that will be applied to your quoted fee if you decide to have us complete your Separation Agreement.
To speed things up, you can fill out the Separation Interview Form below to provide us the basic information we will need to draft your agreement and make the consultation more efficient. If you have questions – see our FAQ section below.
Please Note: A Separation Agreement is just that – an ‘agreement’. It is very important that BEFORE you hire us to draft a Separation Agreement, that you have actually discussed it with your spouse first. If your spouse is not in agreement with you, there is no way to legally compel your spouse to sign a Separation Agreement. If your spouse refuses to sign the Agreement, you may end up paying for a totally useless document!
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
• Do I have to have a Separation Agreement?
No. It is not a requirement and may not even be something you need. Often if you have no children or real property and are satisfied with how your personal property has been divided – you may not need a Separation Agreement.
• Do I need a Separation Agreement to be ‘legally separated’?
No. In North Carolina, all that is required to be separated is living in separate residences and at least one of you has the intention not to resume the marital relationship. Meet those two simple requirements and you are as ‘legally separated’ as you ever will be whether you have a formal written agreement or not.
• What are some of the things that would be in a Separation Agreement?
Most any marital issue you have can be resolved with a Separation Agreement but the most common issues are child issues like child custody, visitation and support, property division (who gets what personal property / real property), spousal support / alimony and issues of taxes, retirement, insurance and division of accounts and debts.
• What are the Pros and Cons of Incorporating my Separation Agreement into my divorce judgment?
A Separation Agreement is a private contract. Incorporation transforms your Separation Agreement into a Court Order. It also makes it a public record. This means it is easier to enforce and the penalty for violating a court order can be more sever than breaching a mere contract. So incorporation may be a good idea for you or it may not. If you have a Separation Agreement, we will need to review it to advise you.