If you and your spouse are moving toward divorce and are ready to separate, there are plenty of terms that you are going to need to negotiate together before you can finalize your divorce. This is where a separation agreement can be useful. The fact is that, if your divorce proceeds to court, you transfer much of your decision-making power to that court and its broad discretion.
When you and your separating spouse manage to hammer out a separation agreement, you demonstrate your ability to work together to make the tough decisions, which can go a long way toward keeping your divorce moving forward with minimal conflict. If you are facing a divorce, consult with an experienced Raleigh family lawyer today.
What is a Separation Agreement?
When properly executed, a separation agreement is a contract that’s legally enforceable – whereas a verbal agreement is not. Your separation agreement can cover any number of divorce-related issues, but the most common among them include the basics:
- Child custody arrangements
- Child support payments
- The division of marital property (including who will remain in the family home)
Ironing out the specifics on these topics when cooler heads prevail can go a long way toward minimizing conflict later in the divorce process. As your divorce heats up, it’s not uncommon for tempers to flare and drama to result, and a separation agreement can help mitigate such obstacles.
Terms of Your Separation Agreement
Getting started on a separation agreement can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. It helps to start with the basics:
- List the date you separated (this date can play an important role in decision making to come)
- List the arrangements that need to be made and prioritize your list
- List your marital assets, including all real estate; retirement accounts; stocks and bonds; debt; and any other financial concerns that pertain.
- Address any property – such as your family home – that is intended to remain with one of you specifically.
Approaching your separation agreement methodically and prioritizing your concerns can help streamline the process. The fact is that you’re going to have to make compromises, and identifying where you’re most willing to do so can help you keep moving in the direction that’s right for you.
Even if you can’t come to an agreement on every major decision that will ultimately need to be addressed, a separation agreement can still be an important tool. Your agreement allows you to concentrate your efforts on those decisions that remain in question. Finally, in order to protect your best interests, it is important to review your separation agreement with a knowledgeable Raleigh family lawyer.
If You’re Considering a Separation Agreement, Consult with a Raleigh Family Lawyer Today
Your divorce will have serious emotional and financial ramifications in you and your children’s futures. Daphne Edwards at Daphne Edwards Divorce & Family Law in Raleigh, North Carolina, has the experience, commitment, and compassion to help guide your case toward a resolution that protects your rights and works for you. For more information, please contact or call us at (919) 838-7160 today.