How to File for Separation in North Carolina

Divorce in North Carolina is a pretty simple thing. There are only three requirements. Before you can file for divorce in North Carolina, you must be separated for a year first with the intention by at least one of the parties to get divorced, and one of you must live in the state for six months. It doesn’t even have to be you – if your spouse has lived in North Carolina for six months, you can file for divorce in whatever county your spouse lives in.  It is worth noting, though, that if you or your spouse is required by work or some other to live apart from you for a year because of work – such as a military deployment or a temporary job assignment far from where you live permanently – that doesn’t count as a separation for the purposes of getting divorced unless there was also intent of one party to permanently end the marriage. Even so, divorce is pretty simple in this state.

Separation In North Carolina Is A Simple Matter

Separation at its most basic is even easier than the requirements for divorce: move out. That’s it. As long as you don’t maintain regular relations consistent with being married but truly live separate lives, then you are separated. There are no other legal requirements for separation in this state. There are no papers to file, no forms to complete, no required notice to the court. You can make things easier for the year-long separation by reaching a separation agreement with your spouse – particularly if you have children and marital property, such as a home you bought together after getting married – but even that is up to you.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Divorce Lawyer

You can file for equitable distribution as soon as you and your spouse are separated. To do so, you should talk to the Charlotte divorce law attorneys of Remington & Dixon. You can contact us online or by calling 704-247-7110.

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Separation FAQs

If I Don’t Have a Separation Agreement, Can I Still Get Divorced?

If you are separated for a year and end marital relations, so long as you (or your spouse) meet the state’s residency requirements, then you can file for divorce at the end of that year-long separation. You will have to establish your date of separation to show that the year’s separation requirement has been met.

Does a Separation Agreement Make Getting Divorced Easier?

The short answer is, “no.” However, it might make your life easier during that one-year wait to file for divorce. Some married couples have few real entanglements to keep them together other than the legal fact of their marriage, but others have children, property, and investments together. If that latter case describes your situation, a separation agreement negotiated with your spouse can make that year pass a little more cordially.


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While we offer a free consultation on traffic matters, criminal matters, and most professional license defense cases, we charge a fee for family law consultations to personalize our consultations to your specific needs. To learn about our fee structure, please get in touch.

Where can I get legal advice?

We recommend meeting with an attorney. While there is free legal help available for North Carolina residents from pro bono resources for civil matters, and public defenders for criminal cases, the best way to access tailored advice is to hire a lawyer.

Can I hire you if I’m in another state?

This is done on a case by case basis if you are involved in a family law, criminal, or professional disciplinary matter that involves another jurisdiction.



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