In order to legally file for divorce in North Carolina, you and your spouse must live separately for one year and not intend to continue the relationship.
Navigating the separation period may be difficult to figure out, especially if you have children.
What separation means in North Carolina
There is no legal separation in North Carolina. All assets tied to the marriage will still legally belong to both you and your spouse during the separation period. Marital assets include but are not limited to property, vehicles and shared bank accounts. At the end of your separation period, you must prove you lived apart, so hold onto any documentation that shows a change of address.
Why a separation agreement is useful
A separation agreement is a legally binding document that helps you and your spouse decide responsibilities during the separation. You can map out child custody, separation of bills and division of property during your one-year period apart. Although not required, this document often serves as the foundation for divorce proceedings and can speed up the process. It can also establish a paper trail and help build your case should your spouse break the agreement.
How to make a separation agreement
A valid separation agreement must be in writing and have notarized signatures from both spouses. If you have children, your agreement should detail co-parenting schedules, visitation times and child support expectations.
Getting ready for a divorce can be difficult. By planning ahead and creating a separation agreement, you can minimize conflict and increase the likelihood of an amicable divorce.