What Is Legal Separation In North Carolina?

In North Carolina, part of the divorce process requires that a couple becomes legally separated for one year before they are allowed to file a lawsuit to end their marriage. In many cases, it is beneficial and advisable to create a separation agreement that dictates the terms of your separation and ultimately divorce. This allows for a divorce process that may be less stressful.

But what exactly constitutes a legal separation?

According to our state's separation laws:

  • You must be legally separated for one year before you may file a lawsuit for divorce.
  • You and your spouse must live in two different residences with the intent to not remain married.
  • You do not need to establish a separation agreement to be legally separated.
  • You may file a lawsuit for custody, child support, alimony or division of property and debt at any time during your separation.
  • In the event that you reconcile, you must begin a new one-year separation period.

Unfortunately, many couples who wish to begin their one-year legal separation may face a financial hardship if they cannot afford two residences. While there may not be an easy answer, it is worth consulting with a divorce lawyer who can explain options of which you may not be aware.

We Guide You Through The Separation Process

At Epperson Law PLLC, we help address all of the legal aspects of separation leading up to divorce. If you are considering ending your marriage, you should contact our firm before you or your spouse begin your separation period and prior to signing any form of separation agreement.

With 24 years of legal experience, including service as U.S. Military JAG Corps officers, our lawyers will provide you with practical legal advice and ensure your rights are protected. While we advocate for negotiated and mediated solutions, we are fully prepared to litigate on your behalf if we cannot secure a separation agreement with the desired terms.

Please call our firm in Weddington or Boone toll free at 888-805-8163 to discuss your full legal options and rights. We are also available by secure email form, and we service clients throughout the state, including the areas of Union County, Mecklenburg County, Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Boone.