How Separation Agreements And Divorce Work In North Carolina
In the state of North Carolina, you cannot get a divorce until you have lived separate and apart for more than one year. However, you do not have to wait more than one year to deal with the other issues regarding the dissolution of the marriage. This includes issues regarding child custody child support, division of property and spousal support also known as alimony. This can be done in one of two ways: (1) a separation agreement or (2) litigation in court.
A Way To Protect Your Best Interests
When contemplating divorce, it is crucial to consult an experienced divorce lawyer to ensure protection of your rights and best interests. Attorney Jody Foyle is an experienced family law attorney and understands the particular requirements of North Carolina law, including the beneficial role a separation agreement has in legally resolving financial and custody issues.
What Issues Can A Separation Agreement Cover?
The separation agreement that you establish can address all of the aspects of a divorce, except for the divorce itself which must be granted by a judge. This means decisions about such things as child and spousal support, child custody and visitation and who is responsible for certain expenses such as childcare and mortgage payments.
Is A Separation Agreement A Legal Separation?
No, it is not in the classic sense, yet it is a contract that is legally-binding.
A separation agreement does legally separate you from your spouse. This allows you do a lot of things as though you are single. However, a separation agreement does not grant you a divorce. If one of the parties to the agreement does not follow the stipulations of the agreement, the other party can enforce the points of the agreement through civil litigation. A separation agreement can also be incorporated into a divorce judgment thereby making the agreement an order of the Court. If this occurs should one party violate the terms of the agreement the other party can move the Court to have the other part held in contempt of Court as opposed to having to file a new lawsuit.
Is The Separation Agreement Valid After The Divorce Gets Finalized?
Yes, the separation agreement is the legally-binding way forward once it gets established. However, as time goes on, aspects of the agreement, such as child custody and visitation may need to be legally modified.
Discuss Separation Agreements With An Experienced Family Law Attorney
Regardless of whether you are considering petitioning for a divorce or you have a child custody issue, we want to hear your case. To schedule a free initial consultation with one of North Carolina’s premier personal injury law firms, contact our Moore County office online or by telephone at 910-693-0055.