A separation agreement is a contract between spouses that provides for settlement of issues arising out of the marriage, other than property rights. A separation agreement may be executed while the parties are separated or planning to immediately separate. A separation agreement, however, is not required in order for the couple to be legally separated. In North Carolina, a couple is separated when they begin to live separate and apart (i.e. at different addresses) with no intent to resume the marital relationship. Once the couple has lived separately for one year, they may obtain a divorce decree.
While a separation agreement does not affect the couple's ability to divorce after one year of separation, it can be a useful tool to resolve some important issues that divorcing couples face. The separation agreement can address issues including: child custody and support, marital property division, and spousal support or alimony. I am a Hickory separation attorney who can help you negotiate and draft a settlement agreement in your case. Contact me to discuss your options.