When a married couple makes the decision to end their marriage, North Carolina law requires them to live separate and apart for one year before filing for divorce. Although a written agreement is not required by law, many clients choose to enter into a settlement agreement prior to their divorce.
Separation Agreements in North Carolina
A comprehensive Separation Agreement and Property Settlement (SAPS) is a written contract between the spouses that typically contains the following provisions:
- Division of marital property and debt
- Custodial arrangement for and other detailed provisions related to minor children
- Child support and spousal support obligations of each party
- Other specific terms agreed upon by the parties
This contract becomes binding and enforceable once signed by both parties, and neither party may modify it without mutual agreement. The exception to this is in matters involving minor children, wherein the agreement could be modified if a court deems it in the best interest of the children.
Close Smith Family Law has significant experience in negotiating and drafting separation agreements that protect our clients’ interests. We help our clients understand the meaning and legal impact of each provision, and we make sure they consider all factors for their future well-being.