At Miller Bowles Law, we have attorneys with the experience, skill, and dedication to help negotiate and prepare your North Carolina Separation Agreement.
North Carolina law allows married persons to enter into a contractual agreement to resolve all of the rights which arise out of marriage. This contract is often referred to as a Separation Agreement. To be valid in North Carolina: (a) the Separation Agreement must not be inconsistent with public policy; (b) and must be acknowledged, in writing; (c) must be signed by both spouses before an authorized notary public; and, (d) must be executed after the parties have physically separated from one other or must be executed in anticipation of immediate separation.
The primary purpose of a Separation Agreement is to set forth the parties’ intent to live separate and apart thereafter and to document any agreement reached on the marital rights created as a result of marriage, which include settlement of marital property (also known as equitable distribution), spousal support and alimony, child custody, and child support.
Because a Separation Agreement may not include terms inconsistent with public policy, spouses may not agree and a Separation Agreement may not include, for example, a waiver of child support when a child or children are clearly in need of financial support from one parent.
Many people seek a Separation Agreement as a time-saving and cost-effective method to resolve all of the rights arising out of marriage in lieu of filing a lawsuit and pursuing a judicial determination of each issue, which can often take months or longer and be an expensive endeavor. While a Separation Agreement can save substantial time and expense as compared to litigation, it is a mutually-entered contract which requires agreement by both parties. No one can force the other party to execute a Separation Agreement, so even with the best intentions, one spouse may obstinately refuse to reach a settlement of all marital issues.
Mediation is often used to help parties negotiate and reach an agreement on property settlement, alimony, child custody, and child support. There are many different mediation methods and each potential settlement is different, so your Miller Bowles Law attorney work with you to formulate the best method and the option most likely to result in settlement.
A Separation Agreement is an enforceable contract; however, its enforcement mechanisms differ from a court decision and court order. The most common recourse if your spouse violates the Separation Agreement is to file a lawsuit for breach of contract and request the court order he or she to specifically perform as provided in the Separation Agreement. In many cases, this court process can take months, if not a year or more before resolution.
The attorneys at Miller Bowles can help you determine whether a separation agreement is necessary in your case, and if one is, can draft and negotiate the terms of the agreement. We have a notary public on staff who is available to certify your signature on the agreement.
To schedule a confidential consultation with a North Carolina family law attorney in Charlotte about further Separation Agreement, please contact us here at Miller Bowles Law. Call us at (980) 321-5590 or contact us.