In North Carolina, “absolute divorce” is the legal termination of the marriage bond that was created by your wedding ceremony and marriage certificate.
A separation agreement is a contract between separated spouses that details their agreement as to certain issues between them, such as: how property is divided, how much alimony will be paid, how child custody and support will be handled. It can protect both spouses from future misunderstandings and changes in living situations.
Parents can disagree with each other on many particular custody issues. Even parents who agree on most issues associated with raising their child will likely disagree at some point. Without a written agreement or court order to quell conflicts, a child is subject to potentially damaging disruption arising from their parent's disagreements.
In North Carolina, both parents are responsible for providing support to their child. Generally, the amount and type of support for each parent is calculated using the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines and then written into either an agreement or court order.
Spousal Support or alimony in North Carolina is payment for the support of a spouse. Alimony is paid by the “supporting spouse” to the “dependent spouse;” the general rule is that a spouse is dependent when he or she makes less money than the other spouse and is dependent on the supporting spouse to maintain the standard of living they became accustomed to during the marriage. Spousal Support can be determined by the courts, or it can be settled out of court in the form of a separation agreement but the claim must be made before a judgment of absolute divorce is entered or the right to do so is lost forever.
Equitable Distribution is the classification, valuation, and distribution of the marital property of the spouses owned on the day they separate. A spouse must assert his or her right to equitable distribution before a judgment for absolute divorce is entered, otherwise, the spouse loses the right to Equitable distribution forever.