Unfortunately, not every marriage works out. Divorce happens, and when it does, things can get ugly. Having the right lawyer to represent you during the separation process minimizes the cost and emotional strain that can occur in the divorce proceedings.
Separation is the first legal step of divorce. It is defined as the time when both spouses move into separate residences. Spouses should consult a lawyer when they begin taking the first steps towards separating.
Find out more about separations in the state of North Carolina and why it’s so important to find the right attorney to represent you.
How Do I Qualify for Separation in North Carolina?
According to North Carolina law, couples must be separated for one year and one day before they can get a divorce. If couples break up but remain in the same residence, they run the risk that the judge presiding over their case may not see their separation as legally valid.
In some very limited circumstances, a judge may accept the separation even if the couple is still living together. However, they must be able to prove that the dwelling was divided in such a way that the two spouses were utterly cut off from each other. That is to say that each unit would have its separate bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, and entrance.
Is a Separation Agreement Necessary?
No, but it is advisable.
A Separation Agreement and Property Settlement is a contract that defines some of the terms involved in the settlement and eventual divorce. It is a legally binding agreement that must be signed by both parties, and it helps eliminate confusion that may become an issue later on in the divorce proceedings.
A lawyer can help couples draw up a Separation Agreement and Property Settlement and advise them of their rights when signing.
What’s Included in a Settlement Agreement?
A settlement agreement may include any of the following:
- How marital property will be divided
- The amount and duration of spousal and child support
- The child custody schedule
- Division of property
- Division of debts
The agreement can be created once a couple separates or right before they intend to separate.
Advantages of a Property Settlement
Property settlements are better alternatives to litigation. Litigation can be costly and time-consuming, and the agreement will help minimize time and expense.
Going into a divorce with specific terms clearly defined in advance will also make the process less emotionally taxing for everyone involved.
It gives the couple more control when it comes to the outcome of the divorce. Without a separation agreement, much of the decision making will be left up to the judge.
Do I Need an Attorney for My Separation?
If a couple gets along and both parties are on the same page when it comes to the division of property, custody, and alimony, they may not need a legal counsel to handle their settlement negotiations. However, it will be necessary to bring in legal counsel for the drafting of the separation agreement.
In cases where the couple does not see eye to eye, a lawyer should be brought in to advise each party of their rights in the creation and signing of the agreement. An attorney can help them handle their settlement negotiations and advocate for their best interests.
It is advisable to bring in an attorney to negotiate the terms of your settlement if:
- You no longer have a good relationship with your spouse.
- You and your spouse are not on the same page as far as your priorities and objectives are concerned.
- You are ill-informed on your marital assets and their value.
- You feel that you are at a disadvantage when negotiating with your spouse.
Finding the Right Lawyer for Your Separation
Finding a good Charlotte NC Family Law Attorney can be difficult. You may have to speak to a few attorneys before finding the right one.
Before meeting with a lawyer, make sure you are prepared to ask the right questions. Think of your priorities and objectives. Are you concerned about custody? Division of property? Your future? Your children’s future?
The right attorney will be able to answer all your questions, consider your priorities, and make you feel confident that your settlement and divorce will go smoothly.
If you are looking for a Charlotte divorce lawyer, the Remington & Dixon team is highly recommended.
Remington & Dixon have years of experience in the field of family law. They have represented countless couples in divorce and separation proceedings. They are known for their honesty, their affordable fees, and their ability to aggressively defend their client’s rights.
Separating from your spouse is not an easy process. Please turn to the experts at Remington & Dixon so they can take the allowable stress off your hands at this emotional time and help you to move on with your life.