Separation agreements are among the most popular options to settle the legal issues of divorce, specifically within North Carolina. The reason why these agreements have become so popular in this area is because those who reside in North Carolina must be separated for at least one year prior to when they are able to be able to file in divorce within NC.

In the end, many individuals are in legal limbo. They live separately and from their spouses, in the midst of filing for divorce, yet while they are legally married according to the law.

To define the rights of and obligations they have as spouses Many couples discuss and sign an agreement of legal separation that resolves all issues related to possession, support, custody and many other issues in connection with the legal divorce.

The goal in this post is to provide an outline on what a separation contract is and doesn’t mean, as well as explain the reasons why you should and should not consider negotiating one, and provide answers to other questions we get from clients considering signing the Legal separation arrangement for NC.

What is an Separation Agreement?

Separation agreements are private contract that is made between a married couple who is contemplating a separation, and possibly the possibility of the possibility of a divorce, in North Carolina. While other states also have separation agreements, too the information in this article refers to separation agreements within North Carolina.

If you reside in a state outside of North Carolina, you will have to engage an attorney local to in the area you reside to assist in the creation of a separation agreement in accordance to the laws of your specific state.

An Separation Agreement frequently contains two separate agreements. One is for spouse support (also known as post separation support or alimony) as well as the second to divide the property. If you sign the terms of a separation agreement with the state of North Carolina, it is often referred to as”a “separation agreement” or a “property settlement”. The legal grounds for the issue are complex and out of the subject in this piece.

The most important thing to remember is that an agreement to separate is a crucial legal document that spells out your rights and obligations should you decide to divorce your spouse. The agreement will define the way your property will be divided and how much alimony will be payable and for the length of time the custody schedule for children, how much child support should be paid, and so on.

This Separation Agreement will also allow both of you to give up any rights that come with marital status and live a life free between you and your spouse and ensure that neither of you are able to file a lawsuit in court to resolve any issue that are addressed by your separation contract.

When can you sign an agreement to separate?

You may sign a separation agreement anytime, regardless of regardless of whether you’re separated or not. But, the provisions regarding support in a separation agreement (i.e. post separation support or alimony) depend on physically breaking up with your spouse. Therefore, if neither or both of you leaves and you both move out, the support provision will be ineffective.

We’ve helped clients who wish to sign an agreement for separation prior to their separation as well as others who have been separated for several months prior to signing an agreement.

The benefits of an Separation Agreement

There are many advantages when negotiating a separation agreement outside of the court. This includes:

  • Control If you have an agreement to separate you have total control over the contract. You are able to discuss any settlement you wish to and, in actuality, accept things in an agreement for separation which a judge will never make a court-order.
  • Privacy A separation agreement or property settlement typically contain highly sensitive financial data. The majority of people do not want to have this information become public knowledge, but if you do decide to take your case to court, that’s the scenario. Through a separation agreement you can make your life secret and safe from prying eyes.
  • Price Family law trial can be extremely expensive, often costing thousand dollars. An uncontested separation agreement however, is considerably more affordable.
  • Time Apart from costing a lot the family law trial could also take a long period of time before it is heard by a judge. There are cases where clients have been divorced for a long time before they ever appear before the judge. A separation agreement is usually be made within some months.

Do You Really Do You Need an Separation Agreement?

A divorced couple is not required to sign an agreement on separation. If you didn’t own the same property (such as a home) or had children and neither is dependent on one another and you are not dependent on each other, then a separation contract is not necessary. But even in these situations, you might require a straightforward separation agreement to define the legal obligations and rights you have as married couples.

As an example, you may be looking to ensure that your spouse is not entitled to your estate if you pass away before getting divorced. Also, you might be looking to make sure that you both have waived any rights to alimony, or post separation support. In order to do that, you’ll need an agreement to separate.

Do you require an attorney to draft a Separation Agreement?

Maybe. It all is contingent on how complex your situation is, as well as the amount of assets you’ll have to divide. If you do decide to hire an attorney to draft an agreement for your divorce or not, strongly recommend having an attorney review it before signing it.

Family law is a complex area of law. There are a myriad of issues that may arise when you negotiate and writing a separation agreement which can be a problem in the future if you don’t hire a lawyer examine your contract immediately.

Keep in mind that a separation contract is legally binding. Although it may appear expensive initially employing an attorney to examine your agreement you could save many thousands over the duration of the contract.

What is an separation Agreement do?

A separation agreement could give you legal and binding agreement which settles all disputes that arise from your marriage. Additionally, it allows you to stay out of an expensive and contentious court dispute.

Here are a few things that can be addressed in an agreement of separation:

Custody If you have children who are minors You can include a schedule of visits inside your separation contract and also determine who will have the primary parental and physical custody over your kids. It is also possible to determine the proper holiday time of visitation for your children.

Child Support The state of North Carolina, child support is normally calculated based on the earnings of parents and the number of children as well as the percentage of overnights for each parent, and various other factors. In a separation contract, you could agree to comply with guidelines for child support in the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines or do something totally different. Whatever you decide to do, you are able to include this information in your divorce agreement.

Property Settlement– One of the biggest and most difficult sections of a separation agreement is the part that divides the financial assets of yours (including retirement and bank accounts) as well as vehicles, real estate and other personal assets. This is the section that is where a lot of people make mistakes, and it’s advisable to consult with an attorney about the property settlement prior to you sign the agreement.

Alimony, and post Separation Support – In this section, you can define how much alimony will be paid and the length of time. It is also possible to address questions as who pays for health insurance or medical expenses that are not reimbursed, and the length of time.

Other Important Terms In the other areas in the agreement for separation,, you can legally terminate certain marital rights you otherwise would enjoy and also include the language to allow both of you to purchase and sell real estate just as even if you weren’t married. The idea is that you are able to legally divorce one another until you’ve been separated for a year and are ready apply for an uncontested divorce.

How Can You Require the Separation Agreement?

The separation contract is legally binding contract as such, it is only enforceable in the same way that contracts are enforced. In most cases, this involves filing a breach of contract lawsuit in a civil district court.

While it is not common to do this, some people may have their agreement “incorporated” into the divorce judgment, which makes the entirety of the separation agreement a part of a court decree. This means that your separation agreement becomes legally binding under the contempt powers that the judge has. This is a more severe enforcement option since the party who violated the agreement may be sentenced to prison for failure to adhere to the contract.

Sometimes, people pull out the custody and support clauses of their separation agreement and put those provisions in the form of a “consent order” which is delivered to the judge. This way, if the person who is required to pay for support ceases doing the same, they could be found in contempt of the court. But the property settlement provisions of the separation contract would stay in an individual agreement.

There are benefits and drawbacks when you have your agreement legally binding as in a written contract or as a court order. you should consult with an attorney to decide the most appropriate option for you.

Will I Have to Attend Court If I have a Separation Agreement?

In most cases, not. The purpose of negotiating and signing an agreement to separate is to keep all your activities secret and out of the public view.

If you have marital estates or obligations to pay alimony They may not wish to make this information publicly available in court proceedings. The private separation agreement is the ideal solution for this situation.

But, if the agreement fails or if the spouse or you break the terms of your separation agreement, you could still be required to take legal action to enforce your agreement.

Although there is no guarantee to avoid court, the majority of people, following the signing of a separation agreement are not required to appear in court.

Do I have the ability to modify my Separation agreement?

It is contingent upon what the agreement states. In most cases separation agreements cannot be alterable without the written permission from both sides.

But, some individuals will include modifications in their contract. The majority of the time, the change will be related to the payment of the alimony. The people who pay alimony would like to know if their payments can be modified or cease when the spouse who is the dependent is employed or their income decreases.

If, however, you modify your alimony in this way, that also means the spouse who is dependent can request for an increase or prolong the period of alimony. This is why some couples choose to pay an amount of alimony over the duration of a specific period and then keep the payment unchangeable.

If an alimony order is made in a court order , it can be changed when there is an “substantial change in the circumstances”.

frequently asked questions about Separation Agreements

The following are questions that are often asked when clients negotiate an agreement to separate. We can add and supplement the following sections from time time.

Are I able to get separated even though I do not have a separation agreement?

Yes! You don’t need the signing of a separation agreement in order to be divorced within North Carolina, although for most situations, we would suggest that you think about executing an agreement. Peace in mind from the knowledge that you won’t be sued during your separation and the security in knowing exactly what your obligations and rights are up to the time you divorce are important benefits to having a separation contract written.

Do I settle all disputes concerning my divorce in an agreement on separation?

Yes. You can settle any aspects of your divorce through the separation contract, in addition to numerous other. Many couples accept certain things in an agreement for separation which they wouldn’t be able to agree to in court.

For instance you could bargain over who pays the tuition fees for your children’s college. This can be included in a separation contract, however the court has any legal power to require either of you to provide college tuition for adult children.