Separating from your spouse can be very stressful, emotional and confusing. When individuals call an attorney at Marcellino & Tyson, PLLC, they typically first ask, “What do I need to file to become legally separated from my spouse?” The answer, in most situations, is nothing. In the State of North Carolina, spouses become legally separated when they live separate and apart, with no intention of resuming the marital relationship. Once you have been separated for one full year, you are then eligible to file for divorce.
However, during this one-year period, it is advisable that you and your spouse discuss the issues of separation and contemplate a separation agreement. Entering into a separation agreement provides for a quick resolution, dramatically lower legal costs and the ability to avoid litigation. A separation agreement sets out how the parties want to distribute their assets, debts and how to handle child custody and child support. Another benefit of the separation agreement is that it can be entered as an order through your final divorce, but doing such has its benefits and detriments which you should discuss with a seasoned Family Law attorney.