The Separation Agreement



Scott Allen discusses separation agreements

When I get asked about a legal separation in North Carolina, I usually answer by explaining a bit about separation agreements.  A separation agreement is a contract that can resolve issues between the parties like equitable distribution, alimony, postseparation support, child custody, and child support.

This video explains some of the law surrounding these kinds of agreements.






What is a Separation Agreement?
•Contract in writing
•Signed by husband and wife
•Requires a notary or official certification
•Must comply with requirements of NCGS 52-10
•Must be executed without fraud, duress, or undue influence
What can be included in a separation agreement?
•Agreements on
•Property distribution – assets and debts
•Alimony – amount, duration and termination
•Child Custody – physical and legal custody
•Child Support – amount, duration, and termination
•Can also include
•Estate and inheritance rights
•Rights to pursue other litigation such as alienation of affections and criminal conversation
•Can’t agree to get a divorce
What regarding the differnces between a separation agreement and a court order?
•Separation Agreement
•Enforcement – contract remedies
•Modification – requires mutual agreement
•Court order
•Judicial decree
•Enforceable by contempt powers of court and ay be modified by the court in some situations
Getting a separation agreement.
•Negotiation process
•Classic model
•Collaborative law
•Full disclosure
•Tax consequences
•Legal issues
Modifying a separation agreement.
•Mutual agreement required
•New document with same formality as original agreement
•Special issues of child support and child custody