Legal separation

The terms of separation do not begin until one of you has moved out. Separation is living separate and apart for one year and one day and does not begin until one has moved.

Dear bigdog8:

Greetings. Sorry, but you are not legally separated until you stop living together, regardless of what you write in an agreement. Also, if you do not separate prior to or contemporaneously with the signing of the separation agreement, the separation agreement is not going to be valid. So, no, you cannot legally stay in the same residence and start the date of separation. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


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.

I am going through the motions and have already drafted a separation agreement with my wife. The point that I am confused about is this. We have both agreed to stay in the same residence ( because neither can survive the debt alone) until the 12 month separation period is finished. at tat time she will set up a different residence with the minor child. Can we legally stay in the same residence, with no marital rights or sexual contact by either party towards the other or do we have to have established seperate residence before the legal separation can begin??? Thanks for your help in this matter!