Clute v. Gosney, 2023-NCCOA-______ (2023).
- Facts: In 1994, a couple got married and had two children. In 2006, they separated due to irreconcilable differences. On April 5, 2006, they entered into a separation agreement to settle their marital and property rights. The agreement included provisions for child support, the right to enforce the agreement through legal action, and a clause stating that the agreement would not be incorporated into a divorce judgment. The agreement was signed under seal and notarized. In April 2022, the wife filed a complaint in Mecklenburg County District Court, alleging breach of contract and, in the alternative, seeking child support based on North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. She claimed that the husband had violated the agreement by reducing child support payments unilaterally and failing to fulfill other obligations, such as medical expenses, insurance coverage, and college expenses for their son. The wife requested specific performance of the contract, attorney’s fees, and retroactive child support. In response, the husband filed a motion to dismiss under the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. In August 2022, the trial court granted the husband’s motion to dismiss, denied the wife’s request for attorney’s fees, and dismissed her complaint with prejudice. The wife appealed this decision.