Can you legally separate living in the same house?

I read an article once about a divorced couple living in the same house because it was financially beneficial for them. I am wanting a divorce from my husband. I have just gone back to work (have been a stay at home mom for most of 20 years) and cannot afford even an apartment on my income. Because of college and other bills, my husband cannot afford to pay allimony/child support …Can I be legally separated while still in the same house? I want to get my own place but I feel like I am stuck. My husband is not motivated to move this process along. What should I be doing? Please help!

No, NC does not recognize constructive separation and you must live in separate residences for one year and one day before you can file for divorce.
If your husband refuses to leave you will have to find a place to stay before the separation period begins.

Does child support/alimony need to be agreed on before I can move out? Can I move out while we work on a separation agreement or before we even start? I don’t want it to be considered abandonment.

You may move out while negotiating a settlement.

Thank you so much for your help. I have a few more questions. My husband is taking out a loan from his 401K to pay off our credit card debt. What kind of paperwork do we need to show that after the time that all the debt is paid off any newly occurred debt is solely his or solely mine? Also- is it law that half my husband’s social security will be mine? We have been married 20+ years. Is it automatic or is there a way for me to “give” that back to him in negotiating things?

New debt is the separate debt of the party who incurs the debt after you are living separate and apart.

If you are married more than 10 years you are entitled to a portion of your spouse’s social security, this is pursuant to federal law, and cannot be contracted away in a separation agreement which is governed by state law.

Once my husband and I agree on the amount of support he will pay me monthly is there any way to make this legally binding? We are just starting the process of separation so no Separation Agreement is in place. I will need his support to make ends meet once I move out. I would hate to have him say later down the road that he can’t pay me or comes up short on payments then I will be left unable to pay bills. Is there any guideline to what is reasonable support based on his income vs. mine?

Support payments will be binding once he signs an Agreement regarding the same before a notary public. If you are not yet ready to enter into a full and final settlement you may enter into a temporary agreement regarding support. Support should be based on your need (income-expenses= need) and his surplus (income-expenses= surplus.