In North Carolina, to legally separate from your spouse, you must reside in different residences with the intent to live separate and apart from one another. The date of separation starts when one spouse moves out, and no paperwork is required to be filed to establish the legal separation.
It is beneficial, if both spouses are willing, to enter into a separation agreement outlining the terms of the split. A separation agreement, also known as a separation agreement and property settlement, is a contract between spouses that determines how marital property and debt will be divided, spousal support, and also may address child custody and child support. If spouses are able to agree upon these issues amicably, this is the most cordial and cost-effective way to establish the terms of a divorce.
Once you have been separated from your spouse for a year and a day, you may file for divorce, thus terminating the marital relationship. When you file for divorce, if you have executed a separation agreement, you may choose to incorporate the separation agreement into the divorce judgment, making the separation agreement a court order and enforceable by the power of contempt. You may, on the other hand, elect to not incorporate the separation agreement, keep it private, and have it remain enforceable by breach of contract.
If you are considering separating from your spouse, it is important to understand your rights and the divorce process. Contact Adkins Law to arrange a consultation with a family law attorney. Adkins Law has locations in Huntersville and Ballantyne, and primarily serves Mecklenburg County, Charlotte, and the Lake Norman area.