What Can You Include in a Separation Agreement?

If you are approaching a collaborative divorce in North Carolina, you will need to draft a separation agreement. This legal document will contain all of the information about how you and your spouse will end the marriage. Choosing a collaborative divorce gives you a considerable degree of freedom compared to a trial-based divorce, and your separation agreement allows you to exercise a considerable degree of flexibility and control.

You can cover a wide range of topics in your separation agreement. In many situations, you can create agreements that go beyond what a court could legally order spouses to do in a trial. But while there are many things that a separation agreement can do, there are also many things it cannot do. Before you get started on the negotiation process with your spouse, it is a good idea to establish a general understanding of what you can and cannot accomplish with your separation agreement.

Of course, a qualified divorce attorney in North Carolina can also explain your separation agreement's various limitations and capabilities. When you get in touch with one of our legal professionals, you can explain your priorities and goals. During an initial consultation, you can lay out what you would like to achieve, and we can create a strategy to help you reach these goals.

In addition, we can explain many of the complex aspects of a divorce that might be confusing. Once you have established your goals, we guide you forward toward a positive legal outcome and negotiate on your behalf. When the negotiation process is complete, your attorney can then help you draft and finalize your separation agreement.

What You Cannot Do With Your Separation Agreement

According to North Carolina law, you cannot create any conditions that involve third parties with a separation agreement. This agreement can only involve the two spouses. While this might sound like common sense, it can be easy to mistakenly involve third parties when you create certain conditions. For example, you must refrain from forcing a financial institution or a bank to pay out funds when this would go against their policies. This is true even if both spouses agree that it would be best if these funds are paid out. When creating agreements based on financial matters, it is important to consider the various limitations of third parties that may be involved.

If you want to stop your ex from harassing you, it is best to do this with a court order rather than a separation agreement. Although you can certainly include a non-harassment clause in the agreement, there is really nothing that will stop a spouse from harassing you if they are determined to do so. If they are willing to violate the terms of an agreement, then you should either press charges or pursue a restraining order.

In addition, everything related to child custody in your agreement will be carefully checked by a judge. There is no guarantee that the court will approve these conditions. If the court believes that the separation agreement does not serve the child’s best interests, they have the right to intervene and force you to adopt a more suitable child custody arrangement. A separation agreement is not legally binding. You should get a court order to create a more legally enforceable child custody arrangement.

What CAN You Include in Your Separation Agreement

Aside from everything mentioned above, you can include just about anything imaginable in your separation agreement. As long as the agreement is notarized and agreed upon by both spouses without fraud or coercion, it is acceptable. As long as the terms of the agreement do not force anyone to break any laws, you can agree upon major or minor aspects of your divorce. Important issues like property division can be tackled in any way the spouses see fit. On the other end of the spectrum, minor issues like pet custody can also be agreed upon.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for a qualified, experienced divorce attorney, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have helped numerous spouses finalize their divorces efficiently and confidently. If you want to pursue a collaborative divorce, we can help you negotiate with your spouse and create a separation agreement that can satisfy all parties.

You can accomplish many things with a separation agreement, and the collaborative divorce process allows you to get quite creative when coming up with various solutions. On the other hand, creating a separation agreement that follows local laws and guidelines is very important. Book your consultation today, and we can ensure your separation agreement is drafted with no unexpected issues.