If you’re considering a divorce in North Carolina, you may already know that you’ll have to live apart from your spouse for a year with at least one of you intending for the separation to be permanent. Only then can you file for divorce.
If you and your spouse are in basic agreement and getting along, that’s good news. It will make a lot of things easier during this period of separation. That’s because you will need to agree on some how some things will be handled during the separation period:
- Who will live where
- Who will pay what bills
- Whether one spouse needs financial support before and during the divorce
- How you will divide time with your children
- Who gets to keep the family pets
- Whether someone should pay child support
- What insurance changes are needed
- Tax issues
As you can tell, these are some of the very same issues you’ll be deciding during the divorce process.
A Separation Agreement Sets You Up for the Long Term
You may have heard about separation agreements but aren’t really sure what they are. Separation agreements set up a framework for how all those important questions will be answered now, while you’re moving through the year of separation.
It may seem like you’ll be making the decisions of your divorce now, even knowing the official divorce process is coming. Why should you bother if you’re mostly in agreement now anyway?
One good reason is that you and your spouse may not always be in agreement later. Even when you have a separation agreement in place, you will often discover there are areas you don’t agree on after all. How will you resolve the dispute if you don’t have a written agreement?
It’s actually good when your separation agreement gets tested. That gives you important feedback you can use when it comes time to divorce. You can tweak the weaknesses in the agreement before you make it permanent.
It’s a Good Idea to Consult With an Experienced, Compassionate Attorney
Whether you’re thinking about putting a separation agreement into place or your spouse has brought one for you to consider, it’s a good idea to have an attorney involved.
A separation agreement is only useful if it’s valid and both parties understand what they’re getting into. An attorney can review a proposed agreement or facilitate one from the beginning.
At Scott Law Group, we’ll go the extra mile to ensure your separation agreement is valid, communicates clearly and meets your objectives. Let’s get started.