Separation Agreement questions


My wife and I are looking to create a legal separation agreement for the state of NC. Will this agreement need to be notarized by an attorney, or can any Notary Public notarize these documents? Also, I believe I read that this document does not have to be filed within the Register of Deeds Office or at the courthouse, does the notarizing of these documents make them legally binding and recognized? For tax purposes, will my wife and I need to file separately or can we still do a joint return for 2009 since we are still legally married?

We are planning on obtaining the separation documents from a website that will tailor it to our needs based on multiple questions asked. There is a fee for this service. Would we be able to draw up our own agreement based on a sample agreement? Are these online agreements legit?

Thanks for any help you are able to provide.


It is not necessary to have your Separation Agreement recorded with the Register of Deeds, however if either party plans to buy real property prior to the final divorce a short version of the Agreement called a Memorandum of Agreement should be recorded in the county where the real estate is purchased.

You may file joint taxes so long as you were legally married for the 2009 tax year.

A Separation Agreement once signed and notarized by both parties is a valid and binding legal document. It is possible to have an agreement drafted by a service, however I suggest that both you and your wife have a North Carolina attorney review any agreement prior to signing it.


Can I draw up an agreement from a sample Separation Agreement and have my wife and I sign it? Would it be the same as one that I purchase online as long as it’s still signed and notarized?


You can use the sample agreement as a guide, and any contract that you and your wife sign (and have notarized) with respect to your marital rights will be valid and binding. I cannot say for sure if it will be the same as an agreement you purchase. I would still suggest that you and your wife each have an attorney review your agreement before you sign it.