In North Carolina, a period of separation is required before a married couple can get a divorce. A key tool in protecting your interests is a well-written Separation Agreement. These Agreements are used to settle any dispute over property, debts, children, and support claims prior to physically separating from your spouse.
Getting good legal advice and aid prior to signing a Separation Agreement can literally save you thousands of dollars. Our Cary separation attorneys have been helping clients for 20 years to execute effective Separation Agreements.
What is a Separation Agreement?
A Separation Agreement is a contract between a husband and wife in which they resolve matters such as property and debt divisions, alimony and post-separation support, child support, child custody, and visitation, when they separate from each other.
While no law requires a separating couple to enter into a Separation Agreement, it is wise to consider doing so. Virtually any aspect related to the marriage and its dissolution can be covered in a Separation Agreement.
What to do (and not do) before you separate:
- Meet with an attorney. Make a list of questions to ask and of information that you believe is important prior to the meeting.
- Make copies of all financial documents (Tax Returns, Bank Statements, etc.).
- Obtain your free online credit report.
- Prepare a budget for yourself and any children. (Download a Financial Affidavit on our Resources page)
- Do not sign any document, including a Separation Agreement, without the advice of an attorney.
- Do not post any negative remarks about your spouse on social media.
- Do not believe that an oral agreement with your spouse at the time of separation will automatically be enforceable.
- Do not procrastinate in speaking with an attorney.
A Separation Agreement is a legally binding document, so it is important that you never sign any agreement without the advice of a knowledgeable separation lawyer. It is additionally prudent to enter into a written agreement, because oral agreements are difficult to prove and impossible to enforce in court. It is important to note that to be considered a valid Separation Agreement, the document must be signed in front of a Notary Public, and the Notary Public must also sign and affix his or her seal to the document.
Speak With an Experienced Separation Attorney
Having an attorney on your side will help you get what is best for you throughout the separation process. Attorneys Ann-Margaret Alexander and Andrea Nyren Doyle have 20 years experience each in dealing with NC divorce and separation matters.
Fill out the form below to schedule your consultation with the family law attorneys of Alexander & Doyle, P.A. today.