Separation Agreement Stands in North Carolina Court of Appeals

contract.png In the case of Rolls v. Rolls, the North Carolina Court of Appeals considered an appeal relating to a Separation Agreement and Property Settlement. In this case, Husband and Wife entered into a Separation Agreement where the parties waived equitable distribution and stated that they each had made a complete disclosure of all assets and debts. Wife filed for divorce and Husband counterclaimed, alleged that Wife actually did not fully disclose her assets and debts, and sought equitable distribution. Wife, of course, replied and plead the Separation Agreement as a bar to Husband’s claim for equitable distribution.

The divorce was granted, but the other matters were reserved for further determination. In the meantime, the Court entered a domestic relations order which transferred half of Wife’s retirement account to Husband consistently with the terms of the Separation Agreement. Thereafter, Wife filed for summary judgment as to Husband’s claim for equitable distribution. Summary judgment was granted in favor of Wife and Husband appealed.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that Husband had received benefits under the very Separation Agreement, via the domestic relations order, and therefore he had ratified the the Separation Agreement and was precluded from challenging it. Husband’s appeal was denied.

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