One of the most difficult experiences that may occur in a relationship is the ending of one. If the couple is married, it can be even more difficult. However, North Carolina requires that married couples who wish to obtain a divorce must first engage in a one-year separation period, initiated with the intent of ending the marriage. While there are no requirements to file legal paperwork to validate the separation, protecting your interests during this time is just as important as the final divorce decree. During the separation period, it is important that you reach a formal agreement with your spouse on the terms and conditions of the separation regarding child custody, child support, spousal support, and more, just as you would in the divorce process.
At Lehnhardt Price Family Law, our team of divorce attorneys knows not only how important the legal separation process is but also how important a formal agreement is during that time. Just as in a divorce, the separation period may begin amicably, but our experience has shown that many of our clients quickly find themselves in a contentious disagreement with their spouse. With the help of our team, you can approach your legal separation as you would a divorce, working on terms that could allow for an easier final divorce process. A legal separation in Marvin, NC, can be a confusing situation that leaves you filled with many questions, but our attorneys are available to help answer those questions and guide you through each step.
When a married couple decides to separate, they must only be able to prove that they live in two separate residences. They may not co-habitat in different rooms within the same house nor may they engage in marital activities. This can be proven through the use of a lease agreement, utility bills, and more. While proving the separation may be easy, agreeing to the terms of the separation is often much more difficult.
In a separation agreement, you and your spouse will agree to terms, just as you would in a divorce. These terms include child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division. If, for example, you own a home together, you will need to agree on who shall continue to live in the home (if either of you decides to do so) and what the equity process will be like for the spouse who will relocate. Other decisions that will need to be made include:
In these conversations, it is important to remember that the agreed-upon support is for the child whom both parents share.
These decisions in a separation agreement are not legally required, but they can be valuable in helping a couple move forward through this already difficult time. The decisions that are made in a separation agreement will need to be made before the final divorce decree, allowing the couple to have the difficult conversations early so they may be able to speed up their final divorce process later.
During a legal separation, you should not engage in marital activity with your partner. A legal separation is made with the understanding that both parties are seeking to end the marriage. You should also not acquire high amounts of personal assets. You may date during a separation. However, you should not introduce a romantic partner to any children until after the divorce is finalized.
A simple separation agreement can be drafted with the help of your attorney, who can ensure that it will be legally binding. In your simple agreement, you will want to include:
A separation agreement means that a couple has reached an agreement on terms by which they will abide for an unspecified amount of time. During this period, they will live separately from one another. This term could be until a final divorce, or it could last for years, should the couple refrain from divorce.
A separation agreement is composed of the terms by which a couple that is legally separating in North Carolina will abide. While this agreement is not legally required, upon their signature, it is a legally binding document that will define child custody and support, spousal support, asset division, and other decisions that a couple seeking divorce will need to finalize.
The difficulties of ending a marriage can be frustrating and filled with stress. Couple this with the challenges of North Carolina’s mandatory one-year separation prior to divorce, and the process can seem long and difficult to endure. However, when you work with a Marvin divorce attorney from Lehnhardt Price Family Law, you can gain the confidence you need to reach an agreement with your spouse that is fair, equitable, and solution-oriented.
Our clients may face a difficult process, but we believe in compassionately supporting them so they can focus on moving forward in a positive way. If you are facing a separation, contact our offices and let our team help protect you and your interests with a separation agreement.