Def of Legal Separation & What if we agree we are NOT?


#1

QUESTION 1 : As I understand it, in NC the point of legal separation is when one spouse moves out of the marital home with the intent to live separately from the other spouse. But what if the intent (that BOTH parties AGREE TO) is for the spouse to simply live closer to work during the week? Can they be considered legally separate if they BOTH agree that they are NOT?

QUESTION 2 : What if this couple creates a document called a Property Settlement Agreement in which they address all the typical issues (child custody, child support, assets/debts/house equity, retirement, alimony) but that does NOT declare them as legally separated? Is that possible?

My question is in relation to the ability/legality of an employer to remove a ‘separated spouse’ from an employee’s health insurance plan. How is this possible if we both agree that we are not separated? Not to mention the issues of reconciliation? If we reconciled (in theory) then I should legally be able to be back on his plan, right? So how can they remove me if we are NOT LEGALLY DIVORCED?


#2

The question that jumps to my mind (and I would bet the employers as well) is this. If the only intent for moving out was to be closer to his work during the week, why did you create a Property Settlement Agreement outlining support, assets, alimony,custody, etc. Seems like something isn’t adding up here.


#3

The Property Settlement document doesn’t have to be filed into the public record for it to be valid and enforceable, so they would not know that it exists.


#4

Intent for the purposes of divorce is a hard thing to prove. If one spouse gets on the stand in a divorce hearing and states they intended for the separation to be for the purposes of divorce, it is difficult for the other party to rebut that intent, even though they may have evidence of what that party said.

A property settlement agreement would likely not be considered valid. For an agreement of that nature to be valid when not accompanied by a separation, it would be called a post-nuptial agreement and include declarations about the intent of the parties.