Separation agreement


Hi! Great forum here, thank you very much for providing this service.

I have a Separation Agreement in place.

  • Signed and notarized about 3 years ago.
  • It involves cars and house.
  • Never executed in full (no transfers of titles)
  • Never been registered at the register of deeds

Can I have the agreement executed now? Or not registering it will make it invalid? We have never divorced. Should I get a divorce before trying to get this executed, or can I act on this now? Do I need to register it first at the register of deeds before executing? Am I too late to register? The NC register of deeds website states that if Real Estate is involved, the papers must be filed at their office.



A separation agreement is a legally valid and binding document once it is signed and notarized by each of the parties. It does not need to be recorded with the register of deeds to be valid, though it is a good idea to have a memorandum of the agreement recorded for purposes of purchasing real property, and giving notice of the waiver of certain other rights prior to the entry of divorce which dissolves the marriage which gives rise to those certain rights.
Your spouse is required to abide by the terms of the agreement, including transferring car titles. If your ex is not abiding by the agreement a breach of contract action is the route you will need to take.


Your agreement was in force the day you both signed it and had it notarized. You do not file your agreement with the courts. It’s your agreement, but it’s enforceable in court should someone not uphold their part of the agreement.

If someone is not upholding their part of the agreement, then a ‘breach of contract’ can be filed. The offending party will be served with a Show Cause and they will have to explain why they’re not abiding by the Agreement.

Don’t file for divorce until you file for Equitable Distribution of property and assets. If you get divorced first, you lose the right to file for ED at that time.