What comes first?


Dear arp1:

Greetings. Yes, you can take care of all the issues you mentioned in the separation agreement and be completely settled prior to the divorce. Some people cannot agree or file litigation to determine the outcome of the parties’ issues and that can sometimes last well after the date of divorce.

As far as custody - the terms joint custody and sole custody are not determined by the amount of time you each spend with the children. If you have joint custody, we are really talking about joiint decision making authority for the children are large issues - such as which school they attend, etc. Sole custody is the opposite of this.

Yes, visitation rights are generally outlined specifically in a well drafted separation agreement. Yes, it is the same in NC, only not in the divorce document - but the visitation is spelled out in the separation agreement. Thank you. [8D]

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 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.


I thought I was clear about the separation process until I read a couple of posts here from people who are already divorced or separated and are just now resolving the property issue. My understanding was that you can take care of property distribution, alimony and child custody and support in the Separation Agreement. Is that correct? Also, I’m unclear about the custody terminology used in NC. My children will be living primarily with their mother and I’ll have liberal visitation. Will we have joint custody or will she have sole custody - what’s the difference? Are visitation rights outlined in the Separation agreement? In a prior divorce in another state it spelled out in great detail visitation times, days and holidays etc… Is it the same way in NC? Thanks for you time[:)]