What is the difference in being legally separated and getting a divorce? When one spouse moves out of the marital home with the intent of remaining separate and apart, the couple is legally separated. In North Carolina, however, you must remain continuously separate and apart for a year and a day in order to file for a divorce. Once your divorce is granted, the bonds of matrimony are broken, and your marital status reverts to single. If you need to speak with a family law attorney in regards to seeking information on separation and divorce, contact Adkins Law. Adkins Law has locations in Huntersville and Ballantyne.