Unlike other states where you can immediately file for a divorce, the state of North Carolina requires couples to go through a full separation for one whole year!
During the twelve-month time frame, at least one spouse must intend to get a divorce, and the couple needs to live completely separately. The legal separation is considered official as soon as the couple starts living apart.
For many couples, the separation period feels just like an actual divorce except for one crucial difference: the necessary court orders. You might already be living apart and must have divided up the furniture and belongings. However it may not be official yet.
Of course, the question of child custody is also raised up during this time. Child support and alimony are being handled casually, if at all.
Instead of spending an entire year of your life with such uncertainty, you can already seek legal advice at the start of your legal separation.
To help you with this, C. Wayne Heasley can give you a preview of what to expect regarding legalities when getting a separation agreement.
If you are planning to handle your divorce through negotiation, mediation or collaborative law as opposed to a courtroom trial, you will need to come to an agreement on important legal issues. These may be some serious questions asked which may similar to the ones as follows:
1. Who will live in the family home?
2. How often will the children spend time with the parent who moved out?
3. Will the parent who moves out be the non-custodial parent forever?
4. Who has the final say on medical, educational and religious issues for the children?
What is a Separation Agreement?
This is an agreement made between a husband and a wife when they have separated from each other. It becomes a binding contract when both parties have signed it, and it allows both parties to resolve the issues that arise during the divorce (like child custody, a division of property, etc.).
Does North Carolina make you have a separation agreement before a divorce?
You do not need a separation agreement to obtain a divorce, but the spouses who intend to get a divorce have to have been legally separated for at least one year before they can file for divorce. The separation agreement is simply a way for both parties to resolve the issues that would be coming from the divorce.
How long is a separation agreement for?
There is no specific period allotted to a separation agreement as it may be contracted at any time during separation. The separation (on the other hand) needs to last at least one year before either party can file for a divorce.
Who can make a separation agreement?
Either party can make a separation agreement (there are plenty of online templates available) if the agreement is going to be reached privately. If the agreement is court ordered, it is preferable to get your lawyer to draw up the agreement and get it verified if needed.
What does a separation agreement contain?
A separation agreement contains sections on parenting arrangements, support issues, the division of property, assets, and debt. You need to make sure that you gain legal advice before signing the agreement so that you can ensure that the terms of the agreement are up to the mark for you to agree to.
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