Confused about Separation agreement

Hello, I am planning to move out of the marital house. Is it necessary to have separation agreement before moving out? What If my spouse doesn’t sign the agreement before or after separation? How can I seek post separation spousal support?

You do not need to have a separation agreement prior to separating, however, it can be helpful to have one in place before separating if possible.

If your spouse refuses to negotiate and cooperate with you and refuses to sign a separation agreement, then you can file a court action against your spouse for any of the claims you are eligible for (equitable distribution, postseparation support, alimony, child custody, child support).

If you are unable to negotiate spousal support out of court and reach a settlement, then you will have to file a court action against your spouse for postseparation support and alimony after you and your spouse have separated.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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.

Who will be responsible to pay for auto and health insurance upon separation? Supporting spouse’s salary is 3 times that of dependent spouse.

The spouse who has always carried the other on his/her health insurance needs to continue carrying that spouse on his/her health insurance until the absolute divorce judgment is entered, especially if the spouse who is being covered on the health insurance plan does not have employer-sponsored health insurance of his/her own. It is very common for the spouse who has carried the other on his/her health insurance plan continue to do so until the absolute divorce judgment is entered.

Auto insurance policies can be separated at any time, but the separation agreement should include that the auto insurance for the vehicle that is distributed to each spouse be the sole and separate responsibility of that spouse so that at the latest, the auto insurance policy can be divided once the separation agreement is fully executed or an equitable distribution court order is entered.

If the supporting spouse is refusing to pay the auto insurance for the dependent spouse, and the auto insurance policies can be separated, then the spousal support that the supporting spouse is paying to the dependent spouse needs to be sufficient enough to also include the dependent spouse’s expense of auto insurance as a reasonable expense.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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.

I’m planning to move out of the marital house in mid September but my spouse doesn’t know about it yet. Because of low mortgage interest rates right now my spouse is planning to refinance the house and is insisting/hoping that I cooperate (the house is in both our names). I’m not sure if it is ok to refinance now or wait until after separation. I am not comfortable letting my spouse know about my plans of separation a month and half in advance. As absolute divorce will take more than a year from now, is ok to agree to refinance jointly now?

You can refinance now, but if so, then it is possible that both of your names will be on the mortgage, which will mean that unless the house is sold in the separation/divorce, then the spouse keeping the house will have to refinance again in his/her separate and individual name.

Many people begin the separation process prior to actually separating. They negotiate and work to settle all of the issues (equitable distribution/property settlement, alimony, child custody, child support) and then one of the spouses moves out. Either way, you will need to ensure that equitable distribution is finalized or that at least an equitable distribution claim is pending in court prior to the absolute divorce being granted.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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.