Divorce and separation in North Carolina is probably a lot different than you might imagine. Divorce and separation is a stressful and difficult process, and the court system approaches this from angles you might not expect. Governed by very specific procedural rules and regulations, courts approach issues surrounding divorce from different angles, depending on the issue. For example, in a custody context, the court might order counseling, anger management or parenting classes as essential to a healthy outcome for the child, but in an equitable distribution context, a court will divide assets in a manner more closely to a spreadsheet evaluation. Each family is unique, and individual needs are more likely to be sufficiently addressed by actual family members than by a neutral judge.
Prior to submitting any divorce-related issues to the Court, many people choose, and are able, to resolve their matters by way of contract. These contracts are informally known as “separation agreements,” and can contain agreements on any matter the parties wish to resolve formally. Rhonda Moorefield is experienced in negotiating and drafting all aspects of the separation agreement.
Most separation agreements will contain a section entitled “Property Settlement Agreement”. A large part of your divorce case will revolve around distributing property accumulated during the course of your marriage in a fair and equitable manner. Figuring out what needs to be divided, how to value each asset (or debt), and how to actually effect the division can be tedious and complicated. Helping you to understand the nature and value of the assets to your marriage, as well as the debt you may have incurred, is the first step toward arriving at a sensible and fair agreement upon which a new future can be built. Your attorney’s role is to help you take this first step and guide you through all aspects of the division process.
The separation agreement may also contain provisions regarding spousal support, child custody and child support, and guidance for any court that may become involved in the future should enforcement of any provision become necessary. It is a binding document that should accurately reflect the agreement between the divorcing parties. The agreement may ultimately become part of the final judgment of divorce and is then enforceable by the court as an order.