Separation Agreement

Can someone tell me that if 2 people can not agree on all of the details of the separation agreement can we still file for divorce? We are having a difficult time with issues related the minor child- such as car insurance when she turns 16, college, etc… as long as we agree on the child support, and other money related issues can I file for divorce OR does this separation agreement need to be included with the paper is filed?

Divorce, child support, child custody, alimony and equitable distribution are all separate matters to the courts. You can file for divorce without any of the other issues being resolved as long as you have been living separate and apart for one year and one day.
As a side note, you can put a clause in the agreement that any major finacial decisions will be agreed on and paid for equally by both parents so that neither has to pay the full amount. Ex: One pays the car payment, one covers insurance (whichever has the best rate is best for all involved). Remember that you’re working together to raise your child separately…
A separation agreement can work for both parties to keep these issues out of the courts and it can read and define any issue that you need it to. Custody, (joint, primary; legal and physical) support whether it’s by the guidelines or deviating from them. As long as the agreement does not require either party to do anything illegal, anything can be put into the agreement.

You may file for divorce if you have been separated for one year and one day. You do not need to have an executed Separation Agreement to do so, however if you have not settled your property issues, or spousal support issues you must file a claim for Equitable Distribution and Alimony along with your complaint for divorce, or you will lose your rights to those claims.

Child Support and Custody issues are not affected by divorce, and you will not be prejudiced on those issues by reason of being divorced.

Erin- we have agreed on child support, property, bank accounts- what we are having issues on is her wanted me to pay for things such as college, life insurance policies, car for when the child turns 16 and insurance- all things that I will not agree to because I simply don’t know if I will have the money for such things- she has added these requirements to the separtion agreement and will not sign them because of this.

I’m an Army officer who has been deployed to Afghanistan for the last 6 months. My wife of 11 years informed me a few days ago that she wants to separate and eventually to divorce. We’ve had our troubles and the extended deployments have complicated things, but I did not expect this. She also said she wants my deployment to be the separation period, but I did not agree to this. I’m not sure if she has met someone else and wants to be able to be intimate with this person, or if she has just grown apart and wants the chance to start a new life. Is it required for both parties to agree to the separation, or can she hold my deployment time against me? I still have 6 more month left before I come home, minus two weeks for R&R leave that I plan on taking within the next 6-8 weeks. I would appreaciate any insight on how to handle this situation.

I am so sorry for your situation- it is a tough thing to go through and I can’t imagine how hard it is for you plus being away as you are- I am new to this forum- you may want to start a separate post- from the beginning- I am not sure if a lawyer will see your question because it is part of my question to which she has already answered. I do know that you don’t have have proof of separation unless maybe it is contested by the other party- I wish I had an answer for you but do start a new question so that someone will get back to you. Be strong.

I agree with your position regarding the extra expenses for the children and would advise against signing any agreement including those terms.

When the divorce papers are filed the date of separation will be listed. If your spouse did not inform you of the intention of separating on that date, then you can contest the date of separation. Since in NC you can not file for divorce until you have been living separate and apart for one year and one day, and the date of separation must be agreed on, I suggest that if you are served with any papers, you see an attorney. Sadly, not agreeing to the date of separation will only draw out the inevitable if she is determined to go through with this, but it may give you some time to get back to the states and get things in order. I know this happens during deployment but it is still a lousy, cowardly way out of it…in my humble opinion.