A separation agreement is a contract negotiated between you and your spouse which settles all of your property issues such as who gets what real estate, personal property and debts. Negotiating a settlement agreement is much more cost-effective than litigation, and can spare you and the opposing side numerous headaches. At your initial consultation we review your facts and explain how a separation agreement is a cost-effective way to get a similar result from how a court is likely to rule.
We can help you get a settlement you can live with.
Frequently asked questions
What geographic areas do you work?
Our office is located in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina. We accept clients from surrounding counties within reasonable driving distance.
What is a separation agreement?
Your divorce will include either a separation agreement or a court ordered separation. A separation agreement isa contract that is negotiated between you and your spouse that settles all of your property issues such as who gets what real estate, personal property and debts. it also settles issues of custody, visitation, alimony, and support. This agreement can be entered into at anytime prior to the court granting an absolute divorce, but it is usually best to finalize these issues as soon as possible. When you hear about long and brutal divorce battles, they happen because the parties could not, or would not, agree to the terms of separation agreement. This takes the control of the issues away from the parties and places it with the court.
How will you help me get a separation agreement?
As part of our consulation, we review all the facts and explain to you (and to your spouse/attorney if in negotiation) how the court will view the issue and how it is likely to rule. Remember, a settlement you can live with is almost always preferable to relying on the judgement of the court.
How is marital property divided?
North Carolina uses equitable distribution to divide assets and debts. There is the presumption that an equal (50/50) division is considere to be equitable. Fault grounds are not considered by the court in distribution, however, there are factors that can change the percentage of distribution to favor one spouse. Some of these factors include both spouse' income and debts, the duration of the marriage and age of the parties, needs of a parent with regards to children, contributions of one spouse to the educational or career development of the other, and tax consequences to both. North Carolina also classifies property as separate or marital, and considers property such as vested pensions, investment income, and royalties as potentially distributable. Computations for couples with diverse assets can be very complex.
How will you help me figure out who gets what?
Our attorneys have a firm grasp on forensic accounting and can track assets, money, and even hidden funds to put together an extensive picture of the assets and debts of a marriage. From this, we can construct a fair and accurate settlement. Your strongest weapon in an action for equitable distribution is to have total command of the numbers. Your spouse may lie, but the numbers never do.