Gastonia, NC asked in Divorce for North Carolina

Q: Can a signed agreement between husband and wife be valid before divorce is filed in NC?

In NC you have to separated for 12 months before your considered separated and can file divorce. My wife won’t leave home until we agree on terms. If we draft a document and sign it will it be enforceable once I file for divorce months from now? I don’t want to give her money and property only for her to change her mind once I can finally file for divorce.

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3 Lawyer Answers
Amanda Bowden Houser
Amanda Bowden Houser
Answered
  • Jacksonville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: If you have car trouble and you are not a mechanic - you hire a mechanic. The same is true for legal work. If you need a properly drafted separation agreement and you aren't an attorney - you hire an attorney. Our firm can draft a fully comprehensive separation agreement tailored to your specific situation for a flat rate fee of $250 for most average couples. If you attempt to do it yourself, because you are not an attorney - you simply will not know it it is properly drafted, whether you have something in there you shouldn't or often worse, whether you don't have something in there that you should. Visit our site at www.easyncdivorce.com to see if our service is a good fit for you. If so, everything can be done over phone and e-mail and you and your spouse can resolve all your marital issues and begin the separation period and you can have peace of mind that things have been handled properly. When the time comes, if you and your spouse still believe divorce is the best option, we can handle that as well for at flat rate fee of $395 without either of you having to go to court or travel to our office.

Adam Bull
Adam Bull
Answered
  • Asheville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Yes. Separation agreements are valid and recognized in NC. Issues of property division, custody, support can all be dealt with in a separation agreement without having to wait for divorce.

Contact an experienced family law attorney to assist you in drafting an agreement.

David Allan King agrees with this answer

David Allan King
David Allan King
Answered
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Generally yes; if the separation agreement is in writing and signed before a notary per § 52-10.1.

However, there are many factors that influence whether a court would enforce the agreement.

For example, if you do not fully disclose the extent of your assets, the spouse can claim they were duped into signing it not knowing your net worth.

Additionally, if the contract is unfair and the fiduciary relationship between spouses is seen as still intact, the argument is that you breached your fiduciary relationship by taking advantage of them.

In other words, there are many issues that can cause a separation agreement not to be enforced, but signing it before filing for divorce is not one of them.

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