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The benefits of legal separation agreements

Divorce is the final separation of all marital ties, but sometimes couples want to separate while maintaining some of the benefits of marriage. Alternatively, a couple may want to come to agreement on certain areas prior to the finalization of their divorce. If you're in either of these situations, a legal separation agreement could be more appropriate than divorce.

What is legal separation and how does it work?

In North Carolina, couples need to be legally separated for a minimum of one year prior to filing their divorce papers. At the onset of the legal separation period, couples may want to draft and sign a legal separation agreement. This agreement will decide many of the terms of the divorce in advance, and it can make the divorce go a lot faster and smoother.

In order for two people to be legally separated prior to divorce, they must live in two separate homes during the separation period and plan to not be married anymore. During the separation period, spouses can file lawsuits relating to child support, child custody, alimony and property division. If, during the separation period, if the couple comes back together, the year-long period will begin anew.

Any out-of-court agreements made during the separation period will be part of a separation agreement. When a divorce is finalized, these agreements can be easily incorporated into the divorce settlement.

Get help with your separation agreement

An experienced North Carolina family law attorney can help you negotiate a fair separation agreement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. At Epperson Law, PLLC, we're available to review your situation and your family's situation to determine the best separation agreement terms to suit your needs.

Source: Epperson Law, PLLC, "Are You Contemplating Divorce? Facing Divorce?," accessed April 14, 2017

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