Separation Agreement

As long as you have lived separate and apart for one year and one day and that the date of separation is not in question, you can file for divorce. There is no such thing as legal separation in NC. Once one of you move from the marital residence you are separated. The separation agreement just usually makes things easier as most equitable distribution, child custody and child support are included in the agreement. A lot of couples do not have agreements and at least as far as equitable distribution goes, can not be filed for after absolute divorce is granted. Custody and child support can be sought any time and none have to be decided for absolute divorce to be granted. The separation agreement if signed and notorized is a contract between the two parties. File for absolute divorce and it should be granted within 30-45 days.

Dear tulips3:

Greetings. If the agreement contains a paragraph that allows for incorporation then yes. Otherwise, no. Yes, you have to file for absolute divorce to get a divorce - as a separation agreement does not grant you a divorce. Thank you and good luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax

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 but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

My spouse and I have been separated for over 5 years. We finally wrote, signed, and notarized (one witness a piece) a marital separation agreement ourselves, including child support. My question is : Can this be filed with the court systems? I would feel more comfortable if it was filed.

Also- I want to file absolute divorce papers, but can I still do that if we have a separation agreement?

Thank you.