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Is a Separation Agreement Beneficial for Children in North Carolina?

A separation agreement has many unique benefits if you are going through a divorce in North Carolina. This option generally gives you greater control and flexibility over what happens after your marriage ends, and collaborative law is usually quite popular among spouses across the Tar Heel State. But what happens if you have minor children? Can a separation agreement be beneficial in this situation? How does a separation agreement affect the children?

If you have questions such as these, consulting with a qualified, experienced family law attorney in North Carolina is probably a good idea. Ideally, you should seek out an attorney with specific experience in collaborative law. These lawyers can help you understand the pros and cons of collaborative divorce, helping you decide whether or not it is the best choice for you. Once you fully understand the process and how it affects your children, your attorney can then guide you forward and help you actually draft a separation agreement. 

Collaborative Law Eases the Psychological Impact of Divorce

Collaborative divorce can be more uncomplicated for the children to process. This is because a collaborative divorce is inherently less combative compared to a trial-based divorce. Instead of watching their parents engage in a fierce legal battle with one another, they see a process that involves both parents working together and coming to a mutually beneficial solution. The entire collaborative divorce process depends on the parent's ability to cooperate and compromise. 

This can be a much more healthy and more civilized approach, and the children may be less distressed when they witness this kind of process taking place. In contrast, a trial-based divorce can create the impression that both parents are essentially going to war against one another. In addition, the outcome of a trial can often leave one or both spouses feeling bitter and resentful, and this can be stressful for a child to witness. 

You Get to Choose the Option that Makes the Most Sense for Your Family

While many judges have only the best intentions, they often make decisions that could be more satisfactory when divorces go to trial. The reason for this is simple: they do not understand the inner workings of a family in the same way as the spouses. Sometimes, a judge will create custody arrangements that make no sense based on the family's established lifestyle and priorities. With a collaborative divorce, you get to create an agreement that makes the most sense for the entire family. 

For example, you and your spouse might be perfectly alright with allowing your child to travel long distances in order to see both parents. However, a judge may consider this to be unnecessary stress on the child, and they may give sole custody to one parent as a result. When you create a separation agreement, you can consider each spouse's unique priorities while also considering the child's preference. Since you know more about your family than anyone else, you are the best-qualified individual to make these decisions. 

Child Specialists in Collaborative Divorces

During your collaborative divorce process, you can also enlist the help of a child specialist. This is a neutral third party that is only concerned with your child's best interests. They are not linked to either parent or their attorneys, and they can help you choose the best option for your children. Without a child specialist, spouses and their attorneys may completely overlook how certain decisions impact the children. This type of insight may not be possible in a litigated, trial-based divorce. 

Judges Can Change Your Separation Agreement

While courts mostly respect separation agreements, it is essential to know that judges can step in and alter these contracts, especially in regard to matters related to the children. If they feel that certain aspects of the agreement are not in the child's best interests, they may alter the agreement. 

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for a qualified divorce attorney, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have helped numerous spouses in North Carolina navigate the collaborative divorce process efficiently and confidently. We can help you draft a fair, equitable separation agreement that best serves the interests of your children. We understand that many parents are concerned with how a divorce may impact their children, and we are ready to help you make this difficult period as easy as possible for your young ones. Book your consultation today, and we can start drafting a separation agreement that benefits the entire family.