Can Separation Agreements be reopened?


Dear PLocka:

Greetings. I would have to see your agreement to give you a final opinion. Generally in NC, when you sign a separation agreement, you cannot reopen the issues of alimony or equitable distribution again. You can always file a claim for child support and child custody, even if the issues are resolved in the separation agreement.

I would tell you not to re-open the agreement and to stick by your guns. Also, if I were you, I would invite him out to dinner and talk to him about the things he is unhappy about, without making any promises or agreeing to anything he proposes. Just listening to him may be enough. Now, if you are uncomfortable doing that, then I would tell you to ignore his “whining” and keep moving towards divorce. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


Dear Polocka,

During my first divorce I noticed a tendency, at least amongst my male friends, to give up almost everything to their wife initially. Many expressed the belief that they thought if they were nice, their wife would return to them. Well, lots of luck! After they discovered their wife was not going to return, they sort of hit the panic mode.

I’m not altogether sure I would want to meet him face to face. If I did, it would be in a very public place. At this time he is feeling very stupid, and may tend towards being unstable.



My husband and I have been separated for 6 months. We negotiated a legal separation agreement, with an attorney (who represented me)that we both thought fair. Everything seemed fine. Since then, however, he has become highly emotional. Now he feels the agreeement was not fair to him afterall. He is threatening me and harrassing me to re-nogtiate, making false accusations about me, and threatening “to spend every dime he has” against me if I do not re-nogtiate. My question is:
How secure and binding is this agreement in NC? Can he easily re-open it with a new attorney? What am I looking at here? I thought once we signed, that was it… Am I wrong?