Dating and Seperation


I was told not to date until at least the separation agreement was signed. I’m assuming all separation agreements have the standard mumbo jumbo as mine says that we are now “free” to live separate, apart, and see whomever we wish to see as if now “unmarried”…funny though…he was doing that anyways the whole time we WERE married and I had to wait until a sep agreement was signed…


Be careful about dating while seperated though…it is unlawful to have sex with anyone other than your spouse until the divorce decree is final. You could unknowingly set your new partner up for a criminal conversation lawsuit. Anyway, you’ll be surprised how quickly the one year will pass. I’ve turned down all dates and have found that the one year period has given me the freedom to focus on my children, career and friendships that quite honestly were neglected during a very bad marriage. The one year seperation is the ONLY good thing about NC divorce law in my opinion. In Georgia there’s only a 30 day wait. You could get married and divorced several times a year there! Not very pro-family or pro-marriage at all.


Dear jad1004:

Greetings. First, blondie is right that adultery (sex with someone other than your spouse while you are married) is a crime in NC. I heard that a state employeee was recently prosecuted for this crime, but that may just be rumor.

Now, if you are separated and have a separation agreement, you can date (not live together and not have sex) and that should not affect your alimony claim. If you are separated without a separation agreement, I do not advise it. Of course, we all have free will, so you will do as you wish, but it is advisable to have a separation agreement and wait until you are divorced to have sex. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax


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.


I did not grow up in NC, so am unsure of the laws. At what point is it okay to date again? After the seperation agreement is signed? Or can you date once you live in seperate households? Or do you have to wait until you are legally divorced?