One year mandantory separation?

Though NC does not recognize “legal separation” a couple would be considered by the courts as separated the day that one spouse moves from the marital residence. If the couple resume marital status; living together, supporting each other and behaving in all ways as a married couple, then the separation would start over the day one spouse leaves again.

Your separation date would be the last day that your spouse and you lived at the same residence. Regardless of counseling or finacial support, if both spouses are not living in the marital residence they are considered to be separated.

The period of separation begins on the date you and your spouse began living separate and apart with at least one of you having the intention not to resume the martial relationship.
It sounds like you and your spouse may have reconciled for a time after you began living separate and apart back in February of last year. Reconciliation restarts the clock on the date of separation. The two of you attending marriage counseling speaks to the intention one (or both of you may have had to resume your relationship), the financial support is not relevant to the date of separation, as many couples continue to co-mingle money and debt service after separation. With respect to the martial relations , one act, or even a few occasions of sexual intercourse will not reset the clock on the date of separation, however a holding out to the public that you are still living as a married couple will.
It really all goes to your intention.
If you and your spouse were attending counseling , having sex, and staying together overnight in the marital home regularly with the intention of getting back together I would say that the date of separation is not until those activities ceased.
If however the counseling was meant more to heal and work towards a better relationship for the sake of your children, or to recover from abuse and you did not co- habitate in the martial residence after February I would advise the February 2008 date is the correct date of separation

Erin E. Clarey
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

Raleigh Office
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
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301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 943.0044

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Durham, NC 27713
Phone: (919) 321-0780


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When does one year legal separation begin?
Husband lived in marital home until 2/08 due to arrest/conviction of assault on a female. (me)
Husband moved to separate residence. Husband and wife continued to present self to public as married through marriage counseling, events, financial support of husband to marital home with three non-biological children, and marital relations until October 2008.
Husband served divorce papers with October 2007 date, which is one of the times he moved out. (He moved back in one month later)
Have to respond to a January 2009 court date by 1/10/09. Please help.