The date of separation in North Carolina is the date that either party is living separately and intends not to return. If she has sent e-mails that she does not want him to come back, etc. That would be the date of separation. He should NOT go back home, unless they decide to reconcile. Best of luck (and tell him Thank you for all his work for me!)
Janet L. Fritts
Attorney at Law
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.