Below are some frequently asked questions about Separation Agreements:
Why do I need a separation agreement?
In North Carolina, separated couples must live apart for a year before they can file for divorce. This legal separation period allows the spouses to work out all crucial divorce-related issues such as property division, child custody, child support, and alimony.
Your divorce will be quicker, smoother, less conflict-prone, and probably less costly if you approach the filing time with a complete, mutually acceptable separation agreement. Our separation attorney at Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division can provide legal guidance and help you draft a suitable agreement.
What should a legal separation agreement include?
A separation agreement should cover all the core issues you will need to resolve, such as:
- Distribution of all marital assets, including joint bank and investment accounts, 401Ks, vehicles, and insurance policies
- A plan for your family home (do you sell it and split the proceeds? Does one spouse buy out the other’s share?)
- Distribution of current and future liabilities and debts
- Custody, visitation, and child support arrangements
- Alimony payments, if any
- Plans for a jointly owned or managed business (e.g., a buy-out or liquidating the business)
Once you sign and notarize a NC separation agreement, it becomes legally binding.
What happens if my spouse and I can’t work out a separation agreement?
A voluntary separation agreement that covers all the essentials is the best way to minimize conflict during divorce. An experienced separation agreements attorney at our firm can help you and your spouse reduce friction and achieve reasonable compromises on high-conflict issues like custody or asset division.
Sometimes, when the divorcing spouses cannot reach a mutually acceptable agreement alone, mediation is helpful. If negotiations with your spouse through mediation fail, you will need to take your divorce case to court. However, a NC family law court will still mandate mediation before resolving your dispute through a court order. Call our firm for legal support.
Do I need a separation agreement attorney?
The legal separation period may be an emotionally tense time with lots of conflict potential. A skilled separation agreements attorney from our firm can facilitate communication between you and your spouse, guide you through negotiating a separation agreement that suits both parties, protect your legal rights, and help you avoid a stressful and expensive contested divorce.
Call our office at Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division in Wilmington, NC, at (910) 769-7339 for a consultation.
Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division
300 N. 3rd St. Suite 310
Wilmington, NC 28401