Although North Carolina does not require spouses to form or file a separation agreement, it may be wise for them to still create one addressing important issues, like child custody, during the divorce.
(For a printable version, click here.) We are having serious marital problems. When a husband and wife face serious marital problems, they often have difficult legal questions that must be answered. The couple should first try to resolve their differences with the help of a neutral third party such as a minister or a marriage counselor. Lawyers are bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct which prohibit representing both sides in an adversarial — or potentially adversarial — situation.
This would be very useful to the custodial parent in getting prompt payment of child support each year (at least by year's end) without hiring an attorney when the other parent “gets a little behind.” 11. CAN I GET MY SPOUSE FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT IF HE BREAKS THE PROMISES IN THE SEPARATION AGREEMENT? It is not contempt of court to violate a separation agreement unless the agreement has been made a part of court order. WILL A SEPARATION AGREEMENT FREE ME FROM PAYING DEBTS FOR WHICH I HAVE SIGNED ALONG WITH MY SPOUSE? It cannot bind third parties (such as banks or finance companies) that have not signed it. WILL A SEPARATION AGREEMENT STOP MY SPOUSE FROM HASSLING ME? While separation agreements usually have a non-harassment clause in them, you should understand that no piece of paper - be it agreement or court order--is going to stop a person from doing something he or she wants to do.
I'VE HEARD THAT I NEED A SEPARATION AGREEMENT IF I WANT TO LEAVE MY OVERSEAS QUARTERS AND RETURN TO THE STATES (ALSO KNOWN AS “ADVANCE RETURN OF DEPENDENTS”). Instead of transferring the exemption permanently without regard to the timely payment of child support, some custodial parents agree to transfer of the dependency exemption only if the other parent is current (not in arrears) on child support payments by December 31 of each year. Contempt of court is the failure to obey a court order without legal justification. A separation agreement is a contract between spouses.
The self-serve center has forms that individuals can fill out and apply for a divorce.
However, you should see a lawyer prior to filing for divorce to make sure there are no other viable claims that you wish to pursue.
Many couples separate and get back together several times before the final break.