A ton of questions about divorce in NC


I’m new to this state… as far as the legal standpoint is concerned. For short order, a little background of my situation.
My husband and I have been married for 10 years and have 2 children. There has been no infidelity, however he and I just don’t get along. I’ve been going through counseling and done everything under the sun to convince him to come with me as well, but he refuses. He refuses to communicate. It has affected everything in our relationship, including our sexual relationship as well. The counselor I’ve been going to has suggested some of his behavior is abusive, being that he name-calls and often becomes very controlling.
I’ve been allowing him to stay at the house for the time being since he has no place to go, but we still consider ourselves “separated”. Would we have to prove that we are not sleeping together during this time to be considered by the court under the “1 year separation”? Several years ago we were having similar problems, but we were living in another state. I know under the law there, we could file the separation but I put the clause in that he was allowed to stay at the house until he found a work and a place of his own, or until the end of 60 days, whichever came first… So our issues have been ongoing for years.

Also, as for Alimony… he isn’t working. His job history has been spotty at best, but with his expertise he has a potential to earn 4 times what my annual salary is. If he’s still not working at the time of divorce, could I still be required to pay alimony? He’s not unable to work. Just unable to find the phone or the willingness to submit his resume to places.

Another question, once he moves out, I would like to leave the state and go back to where we were living before we moved here. The schools are better where we were living before, and I have a stronger professional and personal network there. How would that affect things? Would that null and void my rights to custody?

I’m not trying to be mean about visitation either. I am willing to split things 50/50 with him. I’m just tired of being treated like a doormat. He’s not a bad father, we just can’t get things right.


North Carolina does not recognize constructive separation. In order to be separated you must actually live in separate residences for one year and one day before you may file for absolute divorce. Further, there is no legal filing of separation, it simply begins the day one spouse moves out.

As for alimony, if a dependent spouse is found to be suppressing their income in bad faith, the court can impute income to that person based on his or her earning ability.

If your husband permits you to move out of state with the children you can. You should have a lawyer draft up a Separation Agreement, or a Consent Order which states that you will be relocating with the children.


Thank you! That clears up a lot.


You are welcome. I wish you the best.


I Have been seperated for 1 year on August first. When my husband files for divorce, is it automatic, or do I have to sign… If I want to contest, how do I do that and what are the grounds under which one can contest a divorce. What is the procedure and do I need representation.


The divorce is not automatic, and there is a process that must be followed, and a hearing set. You cannot contest the divorce itself, however if your husband makes incorrect allegations in his complaint for divorce, you may contest those in filing your answer and counterclaim.
There is a video on this website which outlines the process for absolute divorce in NC.