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Not all cases need to be litigated; many cases may be settled with a private contract called a Separation Agreement and Property Settlement.

Separations in Wake County

You’ve decided that you want to end your marriage. Because you live in North Carolina, you have to be separated from your spouse for one year and one day to get an absolute divorce. However, you can use that time to plan for your life after divorce by creating a separation agreement. This agreement will allow you to settle the issues that go along with growing apart without going to court.

Your spouse will likely hire an attorney before negotiating an agreement. Thus, you can stay on even ground by hiring your own Wake County separation lawyer. Your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf and draft the contract once both sides agree.

What’s Decided in a Separation Agreement?

Our lawyers can help you settle all aspects of the divorce. Your separation agreement can cover:

  • Division of Property, Including the Marital Residence
  • Debt
  • Spousal support
  • Child support
  • Child custody

Once signed, the agreement will be valid in the eyes of the law. However, you will not be forced to sign it if you don’t agree. If that’s the case, you can litigate the divorce.

Mediation During Separation

If you cannot come to an agreement with the other party, you can choose to participate in mediation. A third-party mediator will attempt to negotiate with you and the other party. Since the mediator cannot give legal advice, it’s recommended that you bring your attorney with you. Then, your lawyer can advise you on legal matters before you make a decision.

Mediation is not legally binding, so you do not have to sign anything if you don’t wish to do so. However, if you settle the case, your attorney can create the separation agreement. Once signed, you will follow it while you’re separated and after you’re divorced.

Arbitration During Separation

You can also resolve the issues related to your separation outside of the courtroom through arbitration. An arbitrator will oversee the proceedings and make a final ruling. The mediation process is not legally binding until and unless you agree to a settlement, and you don’t have to sign anything you don’t want to.

Your attorney will go through discovery to collect evidence supporting your case. Also, your attorney will file any appropriate motions. You’ll attend an arbitration hearing, where the attorney will present the evidence, and the arbitrator will rule. Once you obtain the ruling, you can take the next step and file for an absolute divorce if you wish.

Child Support And Custody

We can help you settle matters of child support and child custody. Most often, parents receive joint physical and legal custody, meaning the children split time between homes and the parents share decision-making duties. However, if the child isn’t safe in the other parent’s home, your attorney can pursue sole custody. First, go over your case with a separation lawyer. Then, your attorney can determine the best path forward. Learn more about Child Support and Child Custody.

Spousal Support

Are you having trouble meeting your financial obligations now that you’re separated? We can help you file for temporary support to help you until you’re divorced. Then, you might qualify for permanent alimony. Talk to us to discuss your options regarding spousal support.

John took the time to listen and understand my situation. His advice was always spot on. I’d gone to one of the big firms first and felt like a number. John always made me feel like his only client. Highly recommend!

— Marni R.

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