You should understand that an attorney is bound by the legal profession's code of ethics to represent and advocate for the best interests of a single party.The wife's attorney, for example, cannot serve as the legal counsel for the husband since it is presumed that each spouse's interests are different and conflicting.Unlike a property settlement, a separation agreement can only be made when the parties have already separated or intend to separate immediately after signing the agreement.

For example, the agreement can allow the couple can determine: The obvious advantage of a Separation Agreement and Property Settlement is that all these issues can be resolved without the need for costly litigation.

North Carolina is one of only a few states that allow spouses to keep property agreements, alimony agreements, and child support documents private.

You are advised to hire an attorney to handle your settlement negotiations if: PLAN AHEAD: Before meeting with an attorney to discuss an eventual separation from your spouse, think about what your priorities and objectives.

For example, do you want primary custody of your children and ownership of the marital home and its furnishings to provide some continuity for your children?

In North Carolina, the separation of a married couple takes place when they move into separate residences with the intent of living separate and apart.

It is advisable for a couple contemplating legal separation in North Carolina to consult with their attorneys prior to their actual separation for the purpose of drafting a Separation Agreement and Property Settlement.Elements of a Separation Agreement A separation agreement can contain any terms the parties agree to, as long as they are not against public policy.Common terms include terms regarding child support, child custody, and alimony.Living Together While Separated In some rare cases, couples can be separated while living in the same home if the residence has essentially been divided into two independent, unconnected living units. It requires that the spouses each live in a separate part of the home that is completely cut off from the other and that there is no overlap or common area.For example, each section of the house must have its own bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and entrance so there is no overlap between the units.But having a dating partner who stay overnight in the presence of your children be grounds for denial of your custody or visitation.