Recording Your Separation Agreement in Charlotte

What do you do with a fully executed Separation Agreement?

After negotiating a settlement with your spouse you now have a fully executed Separation Agreement that is signed and notarized.  You should talk with your Charlotte divorce lawyer to determine what to do with it next.  Your Charlotte divorce lawyer may tell you that all you need to do is keep a copy for your records.  However, he/she may also advise you to record the Agreement at the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds.

Will your Charlotte divorce lawyer advise you to record your Separation Agreement with the Register of Deeds?

The advice of your Charlotte divorce lawyer will depend on what your future plans are.   For example, many people who have moved out of the former marital residence are looking to buy a new home separately from their spouse.  In this situation a Charlotte divorce lawyer will advise you to record your Separation Agreement as it places members of the public on notice of the agreement and its contents.

You want to be able to purchase a new home without including your spouse in any of the related transactions.  It is important for you to talk to your Charlotte divorce lawyer about how to do this.  The issues are how to obtain a mortgage independently of your spouse and how you can buy a home without your spouse having an ownership interest in it.

A Charlotte divorce lawyer knows you need to be able to show that your spouse has waived his/her ownership interest in the new home.  This knowledge has led your Charlotte divorce lawyer to include a “free trader” clause in the Separation Agreement which waives each party’s interest in any real property the other party buys.  This is the proof your mortgage lender needs.

When you show your mortgage lender a recorded Agreement he/she is put on notice that your spouse has waived his/her interest in any property that you buy. Without this, the lender will need both you and your spouse’s signature on the Deed of Trust as there will be nothing to show your spouse has waived his/her ownership interest in the new home.

If you do not plan on buying any real property then your Charlotte divorce lawyer will likely tell you that keeping a copy for yourself is all you need to do. This will allow you to refer back to the Agreement should you ever need to.

I am afraid that if I record my Separation Agreement my private life will now be public.

A Charlotte divorce lawyer will likely advise you to file a Memorandum of her Separation Agreement instead of the actual Separation Agreement so that you can keep specific details of the Agreement private.  

Whether or not to record the full Separation Agreement or a Memorandum of Agreement is a question for you to discuss with your Charlotte divorce attorney. 

Separation Agreement vs. Memorandum of Agreement

A Memorandum of a Separation Agreement outlines the contents of the Separation Agreement but does not contain any of the personal information that is usually in the actual Separation Agreement.

The Separation Agreement drafted by your Charlotte divorce lawyer likely includes personal information you may not want everyone to have access to.  It contains bank account numbers, account balances, address, children’s names etc.  A Charlotte divorce lawyer will advise you to keep these details private.

A Charlotte divorce lawyer can draft a Memorandum of Separation Agreement that summarizes the Separation Agreement without giving all of the private details. The Memorandum of Agreement can include a “free trader” clause that will be sufficient to place a lender on notice that your spouse has waived his/her ownership interest in any property you buy.

Where do you record a Memorandum of Agreement or Separation Agreement?

Whether you record the Actual Separation Agreement or a Memorandum of Agreement, they are both easy to record.

A  Charlotte divorce lawyer will either record it for you or will advise you to go to the County Courts Office Building located in downtown Charlotte to record it yourself.

Your Charlotte divorce lawyer will tell you to record an original copy that has been signed and notarized.

How much does it cost to record a Memorandum of Separation Agreement or a Separation Agreement?

  • It costs $26.00 for the first 15 pages and $4.00 per additional page.
  • You need to bring cash for the filing fee.
  • Ask for two file stamped copies.  Give one copy to your Charlotte divorce lawyer and keep one for yourself.

With this done, you have placed the public on notice of the existence of a Separation Agreement and you are able to enter into a real estate transaction as though you are single.