Sole/joint custody in separation agreement


My wife and I are negotiating a separation agreement. Regarding custody, we both agree to a 50/50 custody, alternate weekly schedule. However, she wants the agreement to state that she has sole custody with weekend visitation until I have moved out and am settled in a new place, with a stipulation that we will then modify the agreement to joint custody/equal time. My argument is that the separation agreement should just simply state 50/50 joint custody without any conditional language. I told her I’m ok with her spending more time with our daughter until i am settled but I dont want any conditional language in our custody agreement that she might use against me if she doesnt like my new place/neighbors/houseplants etc. Any advice is appreciated, thank you.



I agree that this may not be best. An agreement to modify/amend sometime in the future is no guarantee, so you could be stuck with every other weekend. Plus, 50/50 is the “norm” in NC unless there are facts and circumstances to influence the schedule away from 50/50.

You will likely want to make sure the 50/50 schedule is in place when you move out. A separation agreement and its terms will be binding when it is signed by Husband and Wife and both signatures are binding.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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