Is a Separation Agreement Enforceable in North Carolina?

If you and your spouse can agree on matters regarding your divorce in Monroe, creating a separation agreement is usually a smart decision. Creating a separation agreement can save you time, effort, and money. When you go to court against your spouse, you are at the mercy of the judge. Even though judges do not fully understand the various personal factors that surround your divorce, they have the power to make life-altering decisions. In contrast, a separation agreement creates a more controlled environment. Separation agreements are almost always the best option because they empower you and your spouse to make decisions based on your own unique knowledge of the situation.

What happens if your spouse chooses to disregard the separation agreement? Is a separation agreement enforceable in Union Country? If so, then how do you make sure that your spouse follows the rules set forth in your agreement? What’s the best way to take legal action?

These are all important questions that you should be asking yourself if your former spouse has violated your separation agreement in North Carolina. An experienced attorney in Monroe who has a thorough understanding of the various factors at play can help you answer these questions. Qualified attorneys can help you hold your spouse accountable for violating your separation agreement.

What Can a Separation Agreement Cover in North Carolina?

Your separation agreement can include virtually any provision that you and your spouse consider to be relevant. Important matters such as child support, alimony payments, child custody, and division of property can certainly be covered in your agreement. Smaller, more trivial matters can also be ironed out in your separation agreement. For example, you can decide who gets custody of the family cat, and who walks away with that new sports car you purchased last year. One of the few things your separation agreement cannot do is grant the divorce itself.

Is My Separation Agreement Valid?

Unlike many other states, North Carolina does not require your separation agreement to be approved by a judge. This means that the judge will leave any matters covered in your marital agreement between you and your spouse before the divorce is granted. This considerable degree of privacy and confidentiality is yet another reason why a separation agreement is preferable to a public trial. For a separation agreement to be considered valid in North Carolina, it simply needs to be notarized. However, it is still wise to enlist the help of a qualified attorney. These experienced professionals can help you draft the agreement, and they can also assist you in the negotiation process.

What Should I Do if My Separation Agreement Has Been Violated?

If your former spouse has violated your separation agreement, you have several options. A qualified attorney can help you make the right decision based on the specific circumstances of your situation and your unique goals. Here are your main options:

  • Breach of Contract Lawsuit: If your separation agreement was not included in a court decree, you can sue your former spouse for breach of contract. In this situation, your separation agreement is treated in the same way as any other contract in North Carolina. You can sue for monetary damages or you can sue for “specific performance.” If you sue for specific performance, you can obtain a court order that ensures your spouse will adhere to the separation agreement in the future. Suing for damages allows you to receive the money that you would have received had the agreement been properly followed.
  • Contempt: If your separation agreement was made part of a court order, you can file a motion to hold your former spouse in contempt. In this situation, the court will enforce the provisions of your agreement.
  • Rescission: Rescinding your separation agreement makes it as though the agreement never existed in the first place. You can create a new agreement, or you can proceed with a divorce trial.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching Union County for a dependable, skilled attorney who can help you with this matter, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Thanks to a wealth of experience with high-conflict, complex divorces in North Carolina, our firm can provide you with meaningful assistance as you address this matter. We can help you take legal action against your former spouse for violating your separation agreement. Our office is conveniently located in Monroe, so reach out today at your earliest convenience to book a consultation.