Couples across America are facing daily challenges that can create upheaval at home and upset the delicate balance that is necessary for their families to thrive. When these difficulties result in separation or divorce, it is essential to find a path forward that preserves relationships, supports what is best for the children, and provides opportunities for everyone to peacefully move on.
This is why so many families in Monroe and throughout North Carolina are looking for more amicable options, such as a separation agreement, to create a necessary change in their lives. Out-of-court settlements are not only successful at providing solutions that respect the needs and wishes of everyone involved, but they are also far less time-consuming than a litigated procedure and less expensive. And, as the process stays out of court, it does not become part of public record and so remains private.
The separation agreement
In North Carolina, couples do not have to have a written document to be legally separated. They simply must be living in separate homes, and at least one spouse must intend for the arrangement to be permanent.
A separation agreement, however, is a formal declaration of separation between spouses that spells out the terms and conditions of the split. These issues may concern the payment of debts, if one spouse will remain in the family home, and decisions about the distribution of assets. In the agreement, the parents can also include custody and visitation decisions that are in the best interests of the child. The agreement can also cover child and spousal support issues.
Separation, not divorce
It is important to realize that a separation agreement is not the same thing as a divorce decree, although some couples do eventually incorporate the agreement into the final divorce order. Even though a separation agreement is not necessary for couples to separate in North Carolina, it formalizes financial and custody concerns so that there is legal clarity on all aspects of the new living arrangement.
Some couples eventually divorce, while others maintain the separation while working out other issues that may lead them to getting back together. Either way, this is a far less time-consuming and expensive procedure than going through litigation, and, most importantly, it remains private. It is important when negotiating the terms and conditions of the agreement to have legal support that can help craft an arrangement that suits the specific needs of the family.