North Carolina recognizes legal separation through a process called Divorce from Bed and Board. A divorce from bed and board is usually needed where the parties cannot come to any agreement as to how the divorce should be handled or there is simply too much conflict between the husband and wife to reach any agreement. While you can get a divorce from bed and board, the only legal grounds for divorce, barring two extreme exceptions, in North Carolina is separation for 1 year. During that time it will likely be difficult to make decisions regarding the children or property from the marriage. This is where a separation agreement becomes invaluable.
The separation agreement allows you to put down on paper exactly how the children are to be taken care of and how the property and debts are to be divided between the husband and wife. While oral agreements may work, they are simply harder to prove in court and may not be allowed by law to transfer title to some property. A written separation agreement gives the couple a chance to peacefully decide the important parts of winding up the relationship and put it in a document that is binding on both parties. Furthermore, it allows the parties to do most of the work outside of the court system. Most things can be decided through a separation agreement and, absent good faith or some type of coercion, the contract will be valid and the court will not even need to attempt to modify it.
A well drawn up settlement agreement will provide both parties piece of mind. The separation and divorce process is always difficult. There is no doubt that during this time it is hard to deal with the reality of the meaning of a separation agreement. However, many who choose to do a separation agreement find that having their wishes down on paper saves a great deal of conflict in the end.
Call (704) 848-6335 or use the contact form on the right of this page to schedule a consultation appointment with attorney Jonathan Meek at Meek Law Firm.