Legal Seperation

NC does not recognize “legal separation”. NC only requires the one year one day separation. You can file for absolute divorce the day after that time frame is met.

Most people believe that if they do not have a separation agreement then they are not separated, but an agreement just saves everyone the hassle of having to split the marital assets and debts at the time of divorce. Normally, by then, either both or one are ready to move on with their lives and having to drag all that back up is annoying at best.

If you have divided your marital assets and debts, you can file after the one year one day separation. Document everything that you have divided and the date of separation for reference…

As long as the two of you are willing to state for the record that you have lived separate and apart for one year, that is the requirement for a divorce in this “no fault” state. A separation agreement is really just a useful tool to protect yourself and your assets up until the divorce and may be incorporated into the divorce as well. It really makes the divorce process easier. But if you haven’t done one already then all your possessions and your spouses are still marital assets to be distributed.

You are legally separated on the date you begin to live separate and apart. You do not need to file for a legal separation or anything else. You should make sure you have dealt with your property and support issues before attempting to finalize your divorce.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

Does North Carolina require legal seperation for a divorce? I have lived apart from my husband for almost a year now and as time draws nearer to the 1yr and 1 day date, my husband says we have to be legally seperated before I can file.

Please help clarify this issue.

Thank you in advance.
S.Tallent [:(][?]

Shannon D. Tallent