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Separation Agreement FAQs
What is a separation agreement?

A separation agreement is a contract between a husband and a wife. It generally resolves all issues relating to child custody, child support, division of property, and alimony. A separation agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties, and notarized.

What happens when we're not able to agree?

When parties are not able to reach an agreement on some or all of these issues, it may become necessary for them to go to court and have a judge make these decisions.

Can I draft a separation agreement without a lawyer?

Yes, but it is a better to have it done by an experienced attorney. The agreement must be in writing, signed by husband and wife, and notarized. Frequently, people who draft these agreements on their own, without an attorney, neglect to divide assets such as pension benefits or make other costly mistakes. You should evaluate the cost of the attorney against the cost of making a mistake in the agreement and determine whether you should have an attorney do the work for you.

Any helpful hints?

A separation agreement should be the product of much negotiation and disclosure. It is a binding contract and may last forever so it must be reviewed with great caution. It is always smart to have an attorney review the separation agreement before it is signed.


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In North Carolina either party may petition for alimony, but the court shall exercise its discretion in determining the amount, duration, and the manner of payment, and shall consider all relevant factors, including the marital misconduct of either of the spouses. The duration of the award may be either for a specified or for an indefinite term.
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