When considering a separation you need to first ask yourself; is there is still hope for working things out? Is there anything you can do to strengthen the marriage? Have you exhausted all options for your marriage? Divorce is difficult and the process can be stressful. The first thing you need is a solid understanding of how separation and divorce work in North Carolina.
An absolute divorce can be obtained in North Carolina; by either party, once you or your spouse have lived separate for at least one year. During this time of separation you cannot resume your marital relationship if you intend to move forward with a divorce. You do not need anything written regarding the separation and you are not required to have a separation agreement. A separation agreement, on the other hand, can be effective especially when you have children and property involved. It allows you and your spouse to agree on things like custody, child support, alimony, and property division. If you and your spouse can agree to terms that accompany an agreement then, when the time period arrives for the divorce, the court can simply incorporate the separation agreement into an order with your divorce. This does allow a more “hands on” approach with your separation. At any time after the separation of the parties, either may file an action through the court for property division, custody, child support,spousal support or Alimony; but a separation must take place. The court will not consider you and your spouse separated if you are still living together with the intention of resuming the marital relationship.
Our firm is here to help you through this process; we understand that this decision is a difficult one. We are here to help you grasp the overall outline of your separation. The first step is to contact our office for a free consultation with an attorney that can help guide you through your separation process.