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without both signatures, they are not alegal binfing agreement. And, in NC to be lrgally seperated, you only need to be living in seperate residences. After 1 year of seperation, you can file for divorce. But, there is a lot more to it than just this. especially if children are involved. Custody, Child Support Alimony and Equitable distribution could all come into play whic, if it is all convered in your seperation afreement and is signed by both parties, it still has to be reviewed and granted by a judge.


so really separation papers are a waste of time…you said to be legally separated you only need live in separate places…so if i move back in with my children and their father because my ex put me out of our house…theres nothing he can do about it? such as alienation of affection, etc?

sorry i meant to say separation papers are a waste of time for me because we have no children and we have already divided up everything and i dont want anything from him…i just need to know if i can move on with my life without worrying about his threats of what he and his lawyer can do because my childrens father was nice enough to give me a place to stay until i can get on my feet( i was put out with no car, no money, no job, and no place to go

If you are hoping for alimony from him, moving back in with the father of your children may not help you. If you just want to move on with your life, a separation agreement would help. If there are no children involved have the separation papers read something like the sample separation on the home site:

  1. General. From and after the date of this Agreement, it shall be lawful for Husband and Wife to live separate and apart, each from the other, as fully, completely and in the same manner and to the same extent as though they had never been married.
    1. Interference. Husband and Wife each shall be free from interference, restraint, authority and control, direct or indirect, by the other, as fully as if he or she were single and unmarried. Neither party hereto shall hereafter disturb, annoy, molest, harass or in any way interfere with the other, directly or indirectly, nor compel or endeavor to compel the other to cohabit or dwell with him or her.
    2. Residence. Subject to the limitations set out herein with respect to the payment of alimony, Husband and Wife may reside at such place or places and reside or associate with such person or persons as each of them may deem fit or as each of them may desire.
    3. Visitation. Neither Husband nor Wife shall call upon or visit the other except by express invitation by one accepted by the other.
    4. Employment. Each of the parties may, for his or her separate benefit, engage in any employment, business or profession he or she may choose.
    5. Right To Contract. Both Husband and Wife shall have the right to contract and to be fully contracted with, independently of the other, as fully and to all intents and purposes as if they had never been married.
    6. Marital Residence. The parties are the owners of a house and lot located at 1000 Chimney Rock Road, Raleigh, North Carolina. Contemporaneously with the execution of this Agreement, Wife has by quitclaim deed conveyed her interest in said property to Husband subject to the existing note and deed of trust encumbering the property, the balance of which Husband assumes and agrees to pay. Husband shall indemnify and hold the Wife harmless therefrom.
  2.  Tangible Personal Property Located at Marital Residence. Until the date of separation of the parties, the aforementioned residence was occupied by the parties as their marital residence. On that date Wife departed the premises and has since resided elsewhere. At the time of Wife's departure, she removed from the marital residence all of the tangible personal property she is to receive. Thus, all of the furniture, appliances and other articles of tangible personal property presently located in and around the marital residence shall be and become the sole and separate property of Husband. Wife hereby relinquishes any and all claims he may have in and to the same. All of the furniture, appliances and other articles of tangible personal property removed from the marital residence by Wife shall be and become the sole and separate property of Wife. Husband hereby relinquishes any and all claims she may have in and to the same.
  3. Automobiles. The parties are the owners of the following automobiles:

A 1991 Ford Taurus automobile and a 1974 Ford Mustang which are titled to Husband’s name and driven by Husband. The title to these automobiles is unencumbered. Wife conveys all of her right, title and interest in and to the aforementioned automobiles to Husband so that the said automobiles shall be and become the sole and separate property of Husband. Henceforth, Husband shall be solely responsible for all maintenance, repairs and insurance premiums for said automobile, and shall render Wife harmless from and against all obligations, claims and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees, arising out of or relating to any of these obligations.

10.     Intangible Personal Property. The parties have divided between themselves, to their mutual satisfaction, all intangible personal property owned by them individually and jointly, including but not limited to checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, IRA's, interests in pension and profit sharing plans, promissory notes, franchises, partnerships and the like. Hereafter, neither party shall make any claim against the other for any intangible personal property in the name, possession or control of the other.

11.     Future Debts. Neither party hereafter shall charge or cause to be charged to or against the other party any purchase which either party may; and neither Husband nor Wife shall create any engagements or obligations in the name of or against the other hereafter nor shall they secure or attempt to secure any credit upon or in connection with the other or in his or her name. Each party shall promptly pay all debts and discharge all financial obligations, to the best of his or her respective ability, which either may incur for himself or herself hereafter; and each shall hold the other free and harmless and shall indemnify and defend the other from any and all subsequent debts, obligations or liabilities which are incurred or sustained individually hereafter.

12.     Debts. Husband agrees to promptly pay, when due, all debts incurred in his name alone and to indemnify and hold Wife harmless therefrom. Wife agrees to promptly pay, when due, all debts incurred in her name alone and to indemnify and hold Husband harmless therefrom.

Make it as simple as you can if you are doing it yourself, but make sure you are covered and protected. He will need to sign it to make it an agreement, but at least if everything is settled with this in place you should be free to do as you need to.
Since he threw you out “malicious turning out of doors” you could file for divorce from bed & board and be able to get back into your home, but it may just be easier to get the separation agreement and go on from this point. Good luck.

thank you so much…the service you all provide here is priceless !

Dear Southernbred:

Greetings. You are legally separated on the date you stop living together. You do not need something signed to be legally separated. 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.

If I draw up my own separation papers and I take them to the clerk of courts in my county and file them and ive signed them and had them notorazied and had the sherrif serve the ex with a copy, do they also have to be signed by him for us to be legally separated ?