Greetings. Please contact Interact or a domestic violence shelter in your area. You can also contact the North Carolina Child Support Enforcement office in your area and they can immediately set up child support (if the children are living with you for at least half of the time).
In NC, the date of separation is the date that either of you leave the marital residence with the intention that the separation be permanent. You do not need a document to be legally separated. If you want to deal with the issues of child custody, alimony, and property distribution, then you do need an attorney to draft a separation agreement, etc. There are no attorney services that I know of for little or no cost that deal with child custody, alimony, and property distribution. Best of luck.
Janet L. Fritts
Attorney at Law
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
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.