Navigating logistics at the beginning stage of divorce can be challenging. One day you are married, living in the home you have created with your family, and the next you are facing the decision to separate from your spouse. Your immediate concern becomes “where will I live?”. 

According to North Carolina law, a couple must be separated for at least one year before the divorce can even be filed. Going through the required separation period before a divorce is final can be stressful for all parties involved. It can be difficult to understand what your rights are, what you can purchase, what funds you can use, and how to start your new life.  

Often parties feel trapped in whatever situation they are currently in with no way out. For example, some individuals who are the breadwinners of the family have little difficulty finding a new place to live because they have the financial means to make the adjustment. However, others may have significant problems finding the money for a new place to live or may have difficulty finding a home that is large enough for them and their children. Regardless of which party you are in this example, you want to make sure that you are protected should you choose to purchase a new home during the period of time when you are separated but not yet divorced.  

In North Carolina, there is an option to enter into a Free Trader Agreement. This type of Agreement is put in place to enable a person who is legally separated from his or her spouse to purchase real property without having to put his or her spouse on the deed, and without his or her spouse being able to claim any rights to this real property. A Free Trader Agreement must be entered into voluntarily, signed by each party before a notary, and then recorded with the Register of Deeds in the County where the real property is located.

If you or someone you know may have a situation where any of the above-mentioned situations are involved, contact Hatcher Law Group for a consultation with an experienced family law attorney to understanding your rights and options moving forward.