Legal Seperation


Dear Bob Hope:

Greetings. You do not file for legal separation. Legal separation in North Carolina is defined as the date that either of you leave the marital residence and one of you has the intent that the separation will be permanent. So, no court papers for it to be considered a legal separation.

Child custody during separation may be determined by the court or by agreement. If your spouse takes the children without your consent, you may try to negotiate an agreement with her or file with the court to determine your custody rights.

You may want to hire a private investigator to gather more evidence on your spouse if they are cheating. I do not know if it is “worth” it for you and would not know unless we meet and talked about your situation.

Children often need counseling during this time. One thing is that you can ask the court to do a child custody evaluation or a psychological evaluation and mandate all parties into therapy with the children. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
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.


My spouse has left my house, when is legal seperation started? Do I have to be served some type of court papers for it to be considered legal seperation? Is child custudy during seperation determined by the courts or as an agreement between the two parties? If my spouse takes the children without my consent, what is my recourse? If I can show my spouse had an affair, it is worth hiring a private investigator to gather more evidence ( I have one e-mail sent proclaiming love and a location to meet)? My biggest consern right now is the children, what can I do to help them through these hard times (ages 5 and 10)? My spouse has some molestation issues that I believe to be at the root of many of the problems, is there some way that I can force my spouse to get help without making a criminal out of him/her?