Legal Documents

Separation Agreements

A Separation Agreement is a legally enforceable contract between spouses who have separated with the intention to divorce.  A well-crafted Separation Agreement can address the legal issues arising from separation and divorce, such as distribution of marital property and debt, child custody, child support and spousal support.

A Separation Agreement can help minimize conflicts regarding raising and supporting your children. It can help define the future relationship of the parties. We will work with you to tailor your Agreement to your specific situation.

Western North Carolina mountains during mid day with blue skies, mountain, and trees

Typical issues addressed by a Separation Agreement

  • Decision making regarding the children.
  • Physical Custody schedule.
  • Custody exchange times and places.
  • Child Support.
  • Distribution of Marital Assets and Debts.
  • Inheritance Rights.
  • Spousal Support.

Have you and your spouse agreed on terms?

  • We can put those terms in a legally enforceable North Carolina Separation Agreement.
  • If you have a Memorandum of Agreement from a Mediation, we can incorporate those terms in a legally enforceable North Carolina Separation Agreement or Consent Order.
  • If you provide us with a detailed outline of the matters agreed to, we can provide a Separation Agreement for a fixed fee of $750, usually within 48 hours.

Separation Agreement Packages

  • Simple Separation Agreement - $250
    This Agreement provides that you and your spouse are legally separated and may manage your financial transactions independent of each other.  This Agreement does not include detailed provisions regarding the distribution of marital assets, child custody or support.
  • Separation Agreement With Agreed-Upon Terms - $750
    You provide us with all the details regarding the terms you and your spouse have agreed upon.  These provisions may address marital property distribution, child custody, child support and spousal support.  We will prepare a legally enforceable Separation Agreement to reflect the decisions made by you and your spouse.
  • Proposed Separation Agreement with Negotiation and Modifications - $1,200
    If you and your spouse are still negotiating the terms of your separation, we can prepare a proposed Separation Agreement containing the terms you desire.  You may then present that to your spouse as a proposal in your negotiation.  This package includes up to two hours of attorney time beyond the drafting of the Agreement for negotiations with the other party or their attorney. We will make modifications to the Separation Agreement as negotiations progress.  Once both parties have agreed to the terms, we will send you a final Separation Agreement along with instructions as to how the Agreement should be signed by you and your spouse.

How to get started

Send us the names of both parties, the issues to be included and whether there is agreement between the spouses.  We will then suggest which of our Separation Agreement packages is best for your specific needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are separation papers necessary to be legally separated in North Carolina?
No.  In order to be “legally separated” in North Carolina, the parties must be living apart with at least one spouse intending that the separation be permanent.  A well-crafted Separation Agreement can minimize stress, protect your interests and give you peace of mind.
What is included with the $750 fixed fee Separation Agreement?
Based on the information you provide, we will draft a Separation Agreement guaranteed to be valid and enforceable in North Carolina.  The $750 fee does not include any negotiation regarding the terms of the settlement.  We will not provide any legal opinions about the terms of the settlement or give legal advice about any of the provisions of the settlement, unless separate advice is purchased.  By agreeing to pay the $750 fixed fee you acknowledge that you are retaining Irvine Law Firm for the sole purpose of creating a legally enforceable North Carolina Separation Agreement that accurately reflects the terms of your agreements with your spouse. After the Agreement is drafted, modifications are available at a reasonable cost.
What if my spouse and have agreed on some issues, but disagree about others?
We can draft a Separation Agreement that deals solely with the agreed-upon issues and leaves the other issues undecided.  We can also assist you in drafting a proposed Separation Agreement that you present to your spouse as a proposal.  If you and your spouse are still negotiating, or if you are unsure what terms should be included in your Agreement, you may schedule a phone, video-conference or email consultation to discuss your specific needs and circumstances.  You may also purchase our Separation Agreement with Negotiation and Modifications Package for $1,200, which includes up to two hours of attorney time for negotiating with your spouse, their attorney and making revisions to the Agreement.
How quickly can you prepare my Separation Agreement?
Once you have paid the fee and provided the necessary information regarding the terms of the agreement, we can generally have a draft of the Separation Agreement to you within 48 hours.
Can your Firm represent both me and my spouse in drafting a Separation Agreement?
A North Carolina lawyer may not represent both parties in this situation. However, if you and your spouse agree on all the terms, we can draft a Separation Agreement reflecting those terms. In this situation, we will only communicate directly with one spouse.
Why is my bank telling me we need a Separation Agreement?
If you are borrowing money, the bank may want a legally enforceable agreement demonstrating that your spouse would not be involved in your future financial obligations.  The bank is more likely to accept an Agreement prepared by a licensed North Carolina attorney.  You should also ask your lender whether a Free Trader Agreement would be acceptable.  If so, we can prepare a Free Trader Agreement for a fixed fee of $75. 
Notice and Disclaimer
• No lawyer-client relationship is established until the services are agreed upon and the fee is paid.
• All documents and legal advice are based solely on the information provided by the client.  
• The lawyer-client relationship is limited to the preparation of the document or the legal advice purchased.
• Irvine Law Firm does not provide tax or financial advice.  All documents and legal services are based on North Carolina law.
• The relationship ends upon transmittal of the final version of the document or the purchased legal advice.
Celtic symbol logo with a gradient of orange purple blues and greens