Leaving the Home

In North Carolina is there a need to file actual “seperation papers” before obtaining a divorce, or is leaving the home without doing so safe? Also, might you face abandonment claims if you do not file seperation papers?

Separation is not a change in legal status in NC, and nothing is filed relating to a physical separation. Many folks do execute a Separation Agreement prior to moving out, but it is not necessary. Abandonment in itself is not a charge, or a claim that stands alone, but can be a factor considered by the court in awarding alimony if the parties do no reach an agreement on their own.