Skip to content
Best Law Firms badge for 2023


The Importance of the Separation Agreement


Separation Agreements

Often the best way to resolve the issues arising from a separation and divorce is through an agreement with your spouse. With the help of an experienced family law attorney, many separating couples are able to resolve their issues in a contract most commonly referred to as a “Separation Agreement” or a “Separation and Property Settlement Agreement” if it is a comprehensive document resolving all marital property issues.

The Benefits of Separation Agreements

Separation does not always have to result in a long, contentious, and expensive court process. Couples who are able to resolve their marital issues by an agreement hold the power to control their future in their own hands rather than gambling on a Court’s ruling. Court is not only expensive and time consuming but it can easily become overwhelmingly stressful knowing you have placed the outcome of your future in the hands of a judge unfamiliar with your unique situation. Through an agreement, you determine how assets and debts are divided and what is in the best interest of your children insofar as a custody schedule is concerned. After all, no one knows your needs better than you, and with the guidance of an experienced attorney you can ensure your interests are protected in an agreement that is tailored specifically for your family’s best interests.

Issues Separation Agreements Can Resolve

Separation agreements can resolve many issues that arise in a divorce, including everything from child custody, child support, spousal support, division of property and debts, tax issues, and other miscellaneous matters such as life or medical insurance. Because each family has their own unique set of circumstances to contend with, separation agreements are not a one-size fits all form. You have the ability to customize an agreement to the unique circumstances that apply to you. And a separation agreement can be a simple document resolving only one or two issues or a complex and comprehensive agreement containing a global settlement.

Do I Need an Attorney?

Sometimes spouses can negotiate all or part of issues between them and have an attorney simply draft the terms into a formal contract. More often, however, there may not be the ability to communicate directly or effectively with your spouse, and in those instances, an attorney can assist you with preparing a proposed agreement which can be sent to your spouse for their review with their own attorney. Often through negotiation by the attorneys, and utilizing settlement conferences or mediation if necessary, the issues can be resolved by a Separation Agreement which encompasses all issues arising from your separation. In that event, there is no need for court intervention except to file the actual divorce after a separation of one year.

A Separation Agreement is a legally binding and enforceable contract, and in some instances the agreement can be incorporated into a divorce judgment so that it, or certain provisions, become an enforceable court order. Due to the long term legal implications of an agreement, it is highly advised that you consult with a knowledgeable attorney before entering into an agreement to ensure that you not only understand your rights and obligations but that all appropriate and necessary terms are included.

Start Here!

I need to know about:

We help you craft creative solutions for lasting outcomes.















Durham Family Law Specialist, Divorce & Family Law Attorney


What's Your Story?
Set Your Consultation Today.

Whether you are starting or ending a marriage, enlarging or legitimizing your family, or appealing a family court ruling, you have found the assistance you need. Barri Payne can help you negotiate and commemorate your family law matters in a way that ensures the preservation of your relationships.  Connect with us today.


What Our Clients Say

Avvo Review

Barri helped me with a very difficult and lengthy case. I appreciated her ethics when things got sticky. She is extremely knowledgeable and always kept on top of the many details of the case. I can’t speak highly enough of her! Anonymous

Avvo Review

Barri Payne was an excellent choice as my lawyer because she was most effective and thorough in getting the job done. Her confidence and knowledge was successful in helping me get through some formidable hurdles. I am very satisfied that Barri Payne was expedient, knowledgeable, compassionate and trustworthy while engaging in helping me solve my legal problem. I will be forever grateful!

August 10, 2017

Martindale Peer Review

Outstanding lawyer and expert in all areas of family law.

Avvo Review

Barri and Elizabeth went above and beyond to make me feel at ease and help me through some very tough family circumstances. In the end, all parties involved were happy with the results. They are amazing! I highly recommend them!!!!!


Avvo Review

“I am an attorney practicing since 1999. I chose Mrs. Payne to handle my separation and divorce proceedings and couldn’t be happier.” … “She was compassionate, empathetic, competent, and dependable. That is what I needed and she was right there. I highly recommend Ms. Payne for divorce proceedings.”


Avvo Review

“Barri was able to help me see the pros and cons of the situation and the possible paths to resolution.” … “She is the consummate professional, very knowledgeable, very responsive and communicative, and at the same time very compassionate and understanding. While my situation ended up in court, she is also very skilled at resolving things via mediation as well. If I could emphasize any further how grateful I am for Barri and how highly I would recommend her, I would rate 10 stars out of 5. Thank you.”


Martindale Peer Review

Barri is an experienced attorney who takes great care with her clients and their cases. She is a thoughtful and zealous advocate.

Avvo Review

Barri and I entered into a situation that seemed pretty clear cut. Inevitably, challenges arose. But Barri had already prepared and expected all of them. She completely keeps her cool and defuses situations that are emotional and usually pretty charged. Barri is the consummate professional. I highly recommend Barri and I will definitely continue to go back to her for anything that comes up. She’s so well-respected and genuinely cares about her clients’ best interest.


Martindale Peer Review

Barri has very good common sense and is pleasant to work with. She does a good job for her clients.

Avvo Review

Barri, Thank you for helping me through a very trying and difficult period. Your prompt and professional assistance was so very refreshing and very much appreciated. Elizabeth was also very helpful whenever I called or had any questions. Sincerely, KG

Posted by KG

Martindale Peer Review

Barri is a great attorney and super nice person, she is down to earth and reasonable which is incredibly important in handling Family Law matters.

Google Review

Handled my divorce a decade ago and I’ve been referring people ever since. Brilliant, kind, reliable, trustworthy.

Jeremy Powers

Scroll To Top