NC does not recognize “legal separation”. You are separated when you don’t live under the same roof. Separation Agreements are agreements between spouses as to almost anything. Property, alimony, custody, child support etc. They must be notarized per 52 10.1. See below.

A separation agreement is there to protect each party. I have read SOOO many posts about folks who separate without one and there are too many things that can be overlooked such as child visitation, splitting of property and belongings, payment of debt etc… Of course the visitation and such can be decided by court, but it is much easier to decide these things amonst yourself if you can.

In order for an agreement to be binding, it must be notarized. If one fails to abide by the agreement then they are in breech of contract and open to court action. If you don’t get it notarized, then you have nothing to back you up.

I stayed around for many months waiting for my STBX to sign an agreement and I’m glad I did. Our relationship was very strained, so an agreement was necessary.

In North Carolina you are legally separated on the day you begin to live separate and apart. We do not have a legal status of “legally separated” some states have this status and it creates certain rights and obligations, much the same way rights and obligations are created when someone marries or divorces.

A separation agreement must be notarized to be legally binding.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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Of course being “agreements” you both have to agree to sign. You cannot force your spouse to sign an agreement. You can get a divorce without one. All property in dispute will have to be decided by trial.

What is separation legally? Legal separation? Is it a contract in any way? Is there any use in getting a separation agreement notarized?

Thank you.