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Raleigh, NC Separation Agreement Attorneys

Smithfield Separation Agreement Law Firm

Lawyers in Wake County for Legal Separations

If you are ending your marriage in North Carolina, you and your spouse may wish to consider drafting and executing a separation agreement. While a separation agreement is not necessarily required for your divorce, having one can make the divorce process easier for everyone involved. Ideally, a separation agreement can allow you and your spouse to resolve your issues pertaining to your split privately rather than taking things to court.

At Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC, we realize that a separation agreement is often a good way to ensure that your rights are protected during your separation and the subsequent divorce process. Once you and your spouse sign and notarize the agreement, it is legally binding and subject to enforcement by the court. Our experienced Wake County divorce attorneys are equipped to help you draft a separation agreement that addresses your unique circumstances.

Legal Separation and Separation Agreements in North Carolina

The law in North Carolina is fairly simple when it comes to legal separation. If you are living apart from your spouse—meaning under different roofs—you are considered to be legally separated under the law. You do not need to put anything in writing or obtain any type of order from the court. Your date of legal separation is the day that one of you moves out and you begin living in separate homes.

Once you are separated, or immediately prior to separating, you and your spouse have the option to draft and sign a separation agreement to protect your rights during the separation. Most separation agreements in North Carolina are used to address financial and property concerns, such as:

  • The marital home: If your home would be considered marital property, you can address ownership and control of it in your separation agreement. Your agreement can specify who will live where, and whether one of you will sign your portion of the home over to the other in exchange for other property.
  • Distribution of assets and debt: Your separation agreement can also be used to specify the terms of dividing your marital property. Marital property can include any assets or debts acquired during the marriage, such as real estate, furniture, vehicles, retirement savings, and business interests.
  • Spousal support: If you and your spouse can agree on post-separation support or alimony arrangements, they can be included in your separation agreement. The terms of the agreement can address payment amounts, schedules, interest for late payments, and an anticipated end date.
  • Child custody and support: A separation agreement can include arrangements for sharing custody of your children and details regarding child support. Keep in mind, however, that the court can reject your arrangements if it finds your plan to not be in your child's best interests.

Your separation agreement can also address any other considerations that you and your spouse find relevant to your situation. If you or your spouse eventually files for divorce, you can request that the separation agreement be incorporated into your divorce judgment, which can dramatically speed up the divorce process.

Experienced Family Lawyers in Charlotte and Smithfield

North Carolina law does not require you to hire an attorney as you draft and execute a separation agreement, so you may be tempted to do so on your own. However, online templates or generic forms cannot replace the experience and knowledge of a qualified lawyer. A separation agreement is legally binding, which means if you make a mistake or leave of required information, you could find yourself facing fines or even charges for contempt of court. You could also cost yourself a great deal in terms of the agreement itself, especially if your spouse has a lawyer and you do not.

The skilled attorneys at Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC know that amending a separation agreement can be difficult, if not impossible. That is why it is so important to contact us before you agree to anything. Our team will work with you to develop a reasonable separation agreement that protects your best interests both now and in the future.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

To learn more about North Carolina separation agreements, or to get started on yours, contact our office. Call 919-533-7000 or 919-989-3000 for a free, no-obligation consultation today. Our lawyers help clients in Raleigh, Smithfield, Charlotte, Johnston County, Wake County, Mecklenburg County, and the surrounding areas. Hablamos Espanol.

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