How to Get Started?

My sister has been married for just over 3 years and her husband has now asked for a divorce. They’ve talked about an agreement and my sister has typed one up, citing everything they agreed upon, but already, he’s going back on the agreement. He was to pay 200 dollars per child per month, but their funds were to stay mingled until they could break the lease on the house they are renting. My sister found that he only had 200 dollars of his paycheck deposited into their bank account today, which is not enough to pay for the house they can’t get out of. Although he has now put the rest of the money into the bank account, there’s no telling if he’ll do it again or not, since it doesn’t seem possible to break the lease and they’ll have to keep the house until February, when the lease is up.

This is the first time my sister has gone through a divorce and while she understands it’s complicated (more so, it seems, than her husband), she doesn’t know exactly what she needs to do and where to go to find information. How exactly do you get a divorce in the state of North Carolina? Although they’ve drawn up an agreement, how can she make sure that her husband keeps to the agreement? Do they have to be separated for a certain period of time before they can file for divorce and does she really need an attorney or can she do this on her own? There’s so much information that it’s hard to separate what’s useful from what isn’t.

The divorce action cannot be filed until the parties have lived separate and apart for one year and one day.
If the parties are still living together now the agreement they signed may not be valid, as parties must actually separate for a separation agreement to be enforceable. Also, the contract must have been signed before a notary public.