5 Ways to Make Sure Your Separation Agreement is Valid Separation agreements can be a useful means by which separating spouses can take first steps toward unwinding their financial and family-related affairs by way of a mutual agreement. If one of the spouses exerts undue psychological pressure on the other one, if the relationship is characterized by one party being psychologically or emotionally dominant over the other, or if the separation agreement was signed in a situation involving duress, then a court will likely strike the agreement down and render it void. This normally means that both parties must have had separate legal representation, that each has had the opportunity to consult privately with his or her lawyer to fully canvass all the issues and repercussions, and that this has all taken place in advance of the parties signing the agreement. In addition, the Family Law Act adds other validity requirements for separating agreements (and other domestic contracts ): they are unenforceable unless they are made in writing, are signed by the parties, and are witnessed.
However, cases such as this one are the exception, and for the utmost certainty it is always a good idea to ensure that all the legal formalities relating to the creation of a domestic contract are complied with.) 5. This is very important – courts are filled with former spouses who mistakenly thought they had reached a mutually-acceptable separation agreement between themselves. Schnarr, for example, the spouses entered into a separation agreement that provided that the agreement became void if the parties cohabited for more than 90 days for the primary purpose of reconciliation.
In short, the wife had no intention of reconciling during that 90-day period in the manner contemplated by the agreement.
Separation agreements, when valid and freely-negotiated, can be a useful and important step towards the amicable resolution of the issues between separating spouses.
You do not need a separation agreement, nor do you have to file any papers or documents to be separated in North Carolina.
Having a separation agreement alone does not create a legal separation.