Let me start with “best and quick” are not always good long term solutions where important financial decisions and consequences exist. Certain things really need to be done correctly the first time. However, if you do not have assets, such as real estate, or retirement benefits, a simple settlement agreement may suffice. Regardless of whether you have children or assets such as above, obtaining legal advice is very important. One way to do this, is attending one of our free educational seminars in Raleigh. See our web site, under seminars. Each of you should consider, if you have not already done so, seeking a consultation, each with different attorneys.

Another possibility, if you want to prepare your own agreement and it sounds like you may, be sure to have both of your signatures notarized. These are things to keep in mind: You do not file for legal separation with the Court. You seek divorce, after one-year’s separation, asking the Court to sign a final judgment of divorce. Because I do not know your particular facts, if you remember any of this information, this next part is very important!

Do not seek a divorce judgment without first preserving your claim for equitable distribution. What this means, is by asking for a divorce, prior to your assets and debts being divided, (if not properly held open) you waive your rights to later seek such a distribution. There are other claims that are also waived, but again, it depends on your particular facts.

A very good resource, regardless of what county you reside in, would be the Carolina Dispute Settlement Services in Raleigh and Durham. See They also have free or nominal fee divorce classes for folks seeking to do things themselves.

Deborah M. Throm
Rosen Law Firm
1829 E. Franklin Street, Bldg. 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.256.0017 direct
919.321.0780 main voice

4101 Lake Boone Trail
Suite 500
Raleigh, NC 27607
919.256.1544 direct
919.787.6668 main voice

301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
704.644.2531 ext. 100


Me and my spouse have both agreed on divorcing. I trying to figure out what would work best and quicker. We have agreed on all the financial stuff and even written it on paper and both sign. Is legal separation best or what? Please help.