Hollywood, FL asked in Divorce for North Carolina

Q: Can his lawyer change signed separation papers to divorce papers without both parties consent?

We both signed a separation agreement in May of this year. The document was supposed to be filed in June. I found out a few weeks ago that the document was not going to be filed until the end of this month and that his lawyer is filing divorce papers. He also recently reported the tags on my car as lost even though he knows where I am and cancelled the insurance and I need to know if that is actually legal.

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1 Lawyer Answer
David Allan King
David Allan King
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Separation agreements are private contracts that are generally enforceable once signed and notarized. They do not always need to be filed with a court.

"Divorce papers" typically refers to the Complaint and Summons, two legal documents that must be filed with the court and served on the defendant in any lawsuit, including when suing for divorce.

The separation agreement is often attached to the divorce papers for various reasons but are not otherwise filed with a court outside of that context.

This is an over-simplification and I am leaving out a lot of details. You would be better off getting a consultation with a lawyer that can review your agreement, get more details on your situation, and so on.

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