What are you looking for?
Providing Family Law Services in Charlotte, NC

Separation Agreements

Separation Agreements create a “Mutually Acceptable and Durable Agreement.” A separation that leads to divorce should be viewed as a problem-solving process. Think about it as if your house has just burnt down — everyone needs a new place to live, new household items are necessary, many documents have been lost, finances are uncertain, tensions are high, the kids need to be cared for, and everyone is experiencing emotional trauma. It is important to seek professional help during this time of need and Easterling Family Law is prepared to help you put the pieces back together.

What do Separation Agreements cover?

During the year of separation, or even before the parties separate, a separation agreement can be finalized. This process can be handled outside of court, or filed with the court. The separation agreement will address the following issues, if they apply:

  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Post-separation support
  • Alimony
  • Equitable distribution of property
  • Interim distribution of property

Property Division

We protect our client’s assets no matter the size.


Child Custody & Support

The children’s best interests are always of the highest priority.



We work to get our clients the alimony they deserve.


Separation Agreement Paths


  • Two attorneys and a mediator are involved
  • Recommended use: moderate to high conflict – the parties hope to agree to all of the terms of the divorce, but may need significant help and guidance from attorneys and a neutral mediator to do so
  • Many times the negotiation is played with a high vs. low game that can increase the time and cost of the process.
  • Effect on co-parenting: Good mediators help the parties consciously make decisions that will facilitate their ability to co-parent later. Mediation encourages healthy communication between the couple.
  • Control: The parties make all of their choices related to the divorce with the advice of counsel and input from the mediator.
  • In mediation, attorneys advise the parties of what they can get in mediation versus what they may get in court.
  • Timing: In mediation, some of the time-consuming steps of trial are avoided which streamlines the process.


  • Two attorneys, a neutral mental health professional, and often, a neutral financial professional are involved.
  • Recommended use: low and high conflict parties can benefit from this path. The parties and their attorneys sign a contract committing to agree to all of the terms of divorce without resorting to litigation. The parties receive guidance and support from other neutral professionals. This option is efficient and holistic.
  • Effect on Co-parenting: The collaborative team helps the parties consciously make decisions that will facilitate their ability to communicate effectively and co-parent in the future.
  • Control: The parties make all of the decisions related to the divorce with the advice of legal counsel and other neutral professionals.
  • Timing: The divorce process is streamlined because all discovery is focused, voluntary, and informal.

If the parties cannot come to an agreement outside of court, then one person may file a Complaint with the Court to begin the process. Once the Complaint has been filed, many families revisit the options listed above to attempt to settle the issues of:

  • Equitable Distribution of Property
  • Post Separation Support
  • Alimony
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support

If the parties are unable to come up with an Agreement or a Consent Order then the issues must be litigated.

Contested, Litigated Trial

  • At least two attorneys are involved
  • Recommended use: This is only the best option in rare circumstances
  • One or both parties cannot make reasonable decisions for themselves
  • Effect on Co-parenting: This is an adversarial path and can leave the parties entirely unable to communicate civilly with each other
  • Control: The Judge makes all of the decisions and imposes them on the parties with an Order
  • Timing: The length varies widely, but can take several years. It is almost always slower than other options.

How can Easterling Law Help you?

Because divorce can contain a strong element of financial risk, it is important to have an experienced family law attorney advocate for you and safeguard your interests.

To book your appointment call us at 980-272-1365.