In North Carolina a couple who wishes to divorce must be separated for at least one year prior to filing for divorce. This can create problems especially regarding finances and child custody between the time a married couple decides to part ways and when they become divorced. A separation agreement is the solution to this. A separation agreement is a written contract between a married couple. With a separation agreement a married couple can devise various duties and obligations regarding specific concerns each party may have. If the parties ultimately proceed with a divorce, a court can incorporate the separation agreement into the divorce proceedings further solidifying the arrangements provided for.
Prior to incorporation, a separation agreement works like a regular contract. The couple can amend, modify or change any part of the agreement. The couple does not even have to go to court to enter into it. A separation agreement has a few critical steps. First, the couple must actually separate with no intention of resuming the marital relationship. Second, is establishing custody for children. Third, establishing alimony or other payments. Fourth, how the two are going to divide any real property. Fifth, how are the couple’s retirement savings going to be split. This process is intensive and while on its face may seem simplistic it is important to get the separation agreement right.
Violation of a separation agreement is enforceable by a court order. To get a court order one spouse must initiate a lawsuit against the other. A court will then resolve issues related to the separation agreement. It is worth noting that a court does not factor in adultery in resolving issues related to property in a separation agreement. However, a court does factor in adultery in making its decision on alimony.
Ultimately, entering into a separation agreement is a good avenue for a married couple who wishes to separate whether they intend to eventually divorce or simply remain separated. The drafting and reviewing of married couple’s assets is a complicated matter and should be handled carefully with the help of a trained attorney.
If you are considering separating from your spouse or going through a separation and divorce, call King Law today at 888-748-KING (5464). We will guide you through the process, advise you of your rights, and can prepare your separation agreement and guide you through the litigation process if needed. Our offices are conveniently located across North Carolina and South Carolina. Together we can get you to a better place in your life. Contact King Law today.