Legal Separation and Separation Agreements in Cary, Wake County, North Carolina
You should consider scheduling a consultation with our family law attorney about legal separation and/or separation agreements if:
- You are separated;
- You are contemplating separation;
- You have questions about your rights once you are legally separated;
- Your spouse has hired an attorney; or
- You received a draft separation agreement from your spouse’s attorney.
Our divorce and family law attorney practices family law exclusively in Wake County, North Carolina. A large part of our family law practice involves the legal separation and separation agreements in North Carolina. When prospective clients contact our family law attorney, many of them ask some variation of the following questions:
- What is a legal separation in North Carolina?
- How do I get a legal separation under North Carolina law?
- When am I legally separated under North Carolina law?
- What is a separation agreement?
- Do I need a separation agreement to get a legal separation in North Carolina?
- How do I file for legal separation?
Here are the answers:
In order to get a legal separation under North Carolina law, one of the spouses must establish a separate residence (one spouse must move out) and at least one spouse (either one) must have the intent to end the marital relationship. That is all that is required for a legal separation under North Carolina law. North Carolina law does not require a separation agreement for a legal separation. You do not need to file for legal separation with a North Carolina court to be legally separated.
While you do not need an attorney or a separation agreement for a legal separation in North Carolina, it is advisable to consult with a family law attorney before separating. After speaking with a family law attorney who understands legal separation and divorce laws in North Carolina, you may determine that a separation agreement makes sense for other reasons.
So, what is a separation agreement? A separation agreement is a binding contract between spouses who are either contemplating or have separated. When you are contemplating legal separation or are already separated, several legal rights and/or obligations come into play, namely: division of marital assets and debts, spousal support, child custody and child support.
Negotiating and drafting a separation agreement is usually less time consuming than litigation and, therefore, is typically less expensive. Even if the parties cannot resolve all issues in a separation agreement, it is usually helpful to resolve as many issues as possible in the agreement and submit to the court only those issues on which the parties cannot reach agreement. We believe that this strategy is cost-effective for our clients and optimizes the legal process by resolving as many issues as possible outside of court, while the parties and their legal representation still control the process.