What is the difference between absolute divorce and legal separation in North Carolina?
The former concludes in a final judgment dissolving the marriage, while the latter can usually be reversed simply by entering into a new agreement with your spouse and/or resuming living together as a married couple.
In North Carolina, it is relatively rare to seek an actual decree of legal separation from the court at the time that one spouse moves out.
In order to do so, one must prove marital fault on the part of the other spouse.
Typically, such separation agreement would contain language stating that the agreement becomes void as to any terms not already carried out, if the parties resume living together as a married couple. § 52-10.1 provides for the execution of a separation agreement.
It is important that such agreements be carefully drafted, because the effect of a separation agreement, particularly as to what would happen in the event of reconciliation, can vary widely depending on the actual terms and language of the contract. In any of the above instances, such an agreement can clarify child custody and support issues, division of property, responsibility for marital debts, and spousal support obligations.
Do we have to sign papers in order to be officially separated? You are legally separated when one or both of you vacates the former marital residence, and begin living separate and apart with the intention of at least one spouse for the separation to be permanent.
If you wish to be legally separated from your spouse, a separation agreement may be a good option.
In order to obtain a divorce in North Carolina, the parties must be separated for a period of at least one year prior to applying to the court for a divorce.
A married couple in North Carolina is considered “legally separated” by the court at the time at which the parties move into separate residences with at least one spouse having the intention to remain separated indefinitely.
Alternatively, it is often advisable to incorporate custody and child support terms into an agreement that is submitted for approval by the presiding family court judge.
Once entered by the judge, such agreement is called a “Consent Court Order.” A legal separation established by a contract where the parties agree to live separate and apart, but not necessarily to ever divorce, can usually be reversed simply upon an actual resumption of the marital relationship.