In North Carolina a separation agreement and a consent order are two different ways to settle disputes over property, alimony, child support, and child custody.   What are the differences and similarities?

  1. Separation Agreement
    1. a contract
    2. breach entitles the aggrieved party to sue for breach of contract or specific performance
    3. does not require a lawsuit
    4. private and usually not public record
    5. alimony  not modifiable absent agreement of the parties to change it.
    6. Special modification rules for child support if litigation is filed later.
  2. Consent Order
    1. a court order that the parties agree to have enereed by a judge
    2. enforceable by the contempt powers of the court
    3. requires a lawsuit for the order to be entered
    4. since it is part of a court file it is public record
    5. Order on alimony adn child support modifiable based upon changed circumstances

Which should you use to settle your case?   Unfortunately there is not a “one size fits all” answer to this questions.   It really does depend on your circumstances.



Scott Allen has practicing law since 1994 and has counseled hundreds of clients through  settlement and and tried hundreds of cases.   Scott is available for consultation or representation by emailing or calling (919) 863-4183 to schedule an appointment.