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Separation Agreements

Why you need an attorney for separation agreement?

Separation agreements should be drafted by an attorney.  The experienced attorneys at Johnson & Nicholson can prepare a separation agreement for you, or review an agreement drafted by someone else.

If you do not have a lawyer and the separation agreement was drafted by your spouse, your spouse’s lawyer or even by a mediator or lawyer/mediator who was hired by both spouses, you should always take a draft of your separation agreement to an independent lawyer to have it reviewed before you sign it.  Once you and your spouse sign and have the agreement notarized, it is binding.  Unless the terms of the agreement are unconscionable, or the agreement itself is a result of fraud, coercion or duress, the courts tend to accept the terms as written.  Attempting to have a separation agreement overturned is difficult, but not impossible.

What a separation agreement covers

No agreement between the parties can bind the court in regards to support, custody, visitation rights, or the education of a child.  However, a court will presume that the agreed-upon terms in your separation agreement were in the best interests of the child at the time the parties executed the agreement.

A separation agreement must be voluntary.  Neither party can be forced or coerced to sign such an agreement.  It is important to understand that a separation agreement is not a court order and the court will not force your spouse to comply with the agreement using the contempt powers of the court.  To ensure compliance, you may sue your spouse for breach of contract if he/she violates the separation agreement.  Contact the experienced family law attorneys of Haas & Associates, P.A. to guide you through the legal process of drafting, reviewing and negotiating a separation agreement, or if you or your ex-spouse are currently in breach of a separation agreement.

In North Carolina, family law issues are often complex and attempting to navigate through the court system on your own can be a daunting experience. You can save a lot of time, effort and money by getting the legal help of a qualified NC divorce attorney before taking your first step through the divorce process. Your North Carolina family attorney will advise you of the divorce procedures and will help you determine the best course of action to take.

If you have any plans to separate from your spouse or to file for divorce, it’s best to consult with an experienced NC divorce attorney before you move out of your home because some of your rights may be waived even by just moving out. However, if you have already moved out of your house or have already filed for divorce, you can still contact us so we can help you navigate through the court system and give you legal advice that can help you in the future.

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