Legal separation options

My spouse and I would like to separate. We have had many years of an empty marriage, however there is no contempt. We can not afford to live in separate residences at this time, financially and also because we have a child with special needs. This child has been struggling and we do not want to add to the situation. We wish to help this child get to a better place emotionally and physically. Therefore, my question is can we legally separate and remain in the same house? We have been in separate bedrooms for almost 3 years. Again, no chance of anything mean, vindictive occurring. What are our options for legal separation?

You cannot live in the same residence and be separated. NC law does not recognize constructive separation, therefore you must live in separate residences for one year and one day prior to filing for divorce.