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How do I become legally separated in North Carolina?

by | Nov 30, 2022 | Divorce

You may have been married for a long time or a short time. As you are taking a long, hard look at your marriage, you realize that it just isn’t working anymore but you are not quite ready to divorce. One solution is to separate from your spouse.

The question is, “How do you get legally separated in the state of North Carolina?” Unlike in some other states, you don’t actually need a separation agreement or any other written documentation to become legally separated.

However, what you do need to do to become legally separated is to live in a separate home from your spouse and either you or your spouse needs to have the intention of making the separation permanent. If you are not together emotionally but still live in the same home, in the eyes of the law, you are not considered legally separated. Also, if you live in separate homes but neither of you has the intention of making the separation permanent, again, in the eyes of the law, you are not considered legally separated.

The definition of a separation agreement

The definition of a separation agreement is that it is a private contract between two spouses who are separated or plan to separate soon. The separation agreement includes terms that have been agreed to by both spouses on several issues that are related to the separation.

Some examples of this are which person will handle paying which bills, whether one of the spouses will continue to live in the home that they shared when they were married, and where the children will live. It is common for the separation agreement to have details about the separation, division of property, spousal support, and child custody and child support (if applicable).

Is a separation agreement necessary?

It is not required but it is a good tool that can help the couple to resolve some legal issues that come up at the end of a marriage, such as dividing property and who will pay alimony. It is not uncommon for the separation agreement to become part of the final divorce order. The agreement (if the couple can resolve their differences amicably) may help the couple to avoid having to go to court.

Sound advice of a knowledgeable divorce attorney

If you and your spouse have decided to separate, it is probably valuable for you to consult with a North Carolina divorce attorney, who can offer you sound advice and help you through the process while protecting your rights at the same time. At this difficult time, having the right advice can really help you to get through the experience and come out the other side so that you can look forward to moving on to a brighter future.