Separation Agreement Incorporation Issue


#1

Hi, I have a question regarding the incorporation of a Separation Agreement which outlines property settlement and debt division. (There are no children and no alimony is to be paid to either party, home in both names is going to wife who will pay mortgage, debt is listed and divided between spouses, and husband’s pension will be sole property of husband). Papers will be filed in Mecklenburg County, and we have been separated for over a year.

After the Separation Agreement has been signed by both parties and notarized, does it then get submitted to the Court along with the Civil Action Cover Sheet, Summons, and Complaint for Divorce? Or do we simply each retain a copy of SA and not file it with the Court? I have read on your site that Separation Agreements should NOT be incorporated into Final Judgement for Absolute Divorce. My concern is a privacy issue, as neither party wants the Separation Agreement and the personal financial information contained in SA to become public record out of concern it will wind up on the internet. I am unclear as to whether the SA has to be submitted to the Court to be valid and whether the Judge has to approve it when when Absolute Divorce Judgement is issued. Also, is it necessary to have personal information such as social security #'s listed in the Divorce Complaint form? Again, the concern is that the County (Mecklenburg) or the state will post this sensitive personal information online. Is there any way to avoid that from happening?

My last question pertains to notarizing the documents. I have been living in Union County for over a year while spouse resides in Mecklenburg, which is where papers will be filed, however, my Separation Agreement and other forms list Union County above the space provided for the Notary signature. Can I have my documents notarized by a Notary in Mecklenburg county instead, even though documents state the Notary to sign is in Union county? I have been unable to locate a Notary in Union County and doing this in Mecklenburg would be much more convenient, but I am not sure if this is permissable.

Thank you.


#2

If you wish to incorporate your Separation Agreement into your divorce decree (and thus making your Agreement a Court Order) you must petition the court for an incorporation as part of your divorce complaint. The Agreement then does become part of the public record.

Most Agreement are not incorporated, as they are valid and fully enforceable on their own.

The last four digits of each parties’ social security number only needs to be included in the divorce judgment when there are minor children shared by the parties.

You may have a Mecklenburg County Notary notarize the documents, they simply need to cross through where the documents says Union County and write in Mecklenburg County.


#3

Thank you so much for the information!

Am I correct then in my understanding that as there are no children, then no social security numbers (for either party) need to be on ANY of the divorce documents? Even the Divorce Complaint and Judgement forms? I do not want the forms kicked back for not stating both party social security #'s if this is required by Mecklenburg County, but I also do not want this info published anywhere! Can you please clarify whether or not this is a requirement?

Also, if I choose not to submit the Separation Agreement to the Court,are you are saying that it is still binding and enforceable, just by being signed and notarized? In other words, the Court does not need to have the SA at all for it to be valid?

Thank you again!


#4

Yes, you are correct regarding the SS numbers. The need not be included in any document if there are no minor children.

The agreement is enforceable as is, so long as it has been signed and notarized by both parties. The court does not need to have the SA at all.


#5

Erin,
I want to thank you so much for your quick response and for this invaluable service!

I have just one last question, do any of the documents submitted to the Court (in particular the Complaint for Divorce as well as the Judgment) need to mention that the SA exists if I do not intend to submit SA to the Court? Or should the existence of the SA not be mentioned in these documents at all? (If SA is not being submitted to the Court). I have gotten conflicting information on this issue, and was informed that Complaint and Judgement need to mention the existence of SA even if the SA is not filed with the Court, so I am unclear on this.

Thank you for any clarification you can provide on this issue.

Have a great day!


#6

No, you need not mention the SA in any of the documents, but may include a line in the Complaint that states all issues relating to the division of martial property and support have been resolved.


#7

Erin, thanks again for the info. I truly appreciate it!

Your previous post states that I can mention in the Complaint a line stating that all issues regarding marital property and support have been resolved. Does that cover debts as well or does that need to be mentioned in Complaint as being resolved also? (This is spelled out in SA listing who is responsible for each debt). Should the line in the Complaint state that these issues have been resolved via a SA (not being filed with Court) or is it not necessary to mention the SA at all in complaint? Is it sufficient in Mecklenburg County to just state in Complaint that division of marital property and support issues have been resolved without actually mentioning SA, and also mentioning debt division?

Thank you!!!


#8

You can reference the debts separately or simply state that all martial property issues have been settled (it is commonly understood that debts are included in marital property issues). You need not mention the property and support issues at all, the agreement is still valid and the divorce does not affect it.