Can someone please answer

Separation agreements are not filed. You get a copy and your spouse gets a copy. You can not force your spouse to sign a separation agreement. Alimony will not start until after the divorce is final. Post separation support can begin as soon as you (both of you) sign the separation agreement provided that it is stated in the agreement. It will not be automatic. Remember these are agreements. Both parties have to agree.

If you are negotiating a settlement then alimony would begin on whatever date the agreement stated they would begin. If you go to court the payments usually begin in the month following the hearing.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

Once legal separation papers are drawn up and filed, when does alimony (if granted) and any other spousal support begin? I need to know this so I can make plans in August. I am unemployed at the moment but looking for a job, but was told as long as the spousal support is written in the separation papers it will be accepted as income when I apply to rent somewhere. Thank you.