Question regarding separation requirements


Dear alaskan_dd:

Greetings. You need to live in a separate residence, not simply stay overnight somewhere else. If you believe that living with your neighbor is going to work for you, then it would be a valid separation, even if you are going back to help with his medical treatments. My advice though is that you send him a letter detailing your intent to separate, where you are moving to, and when the actual date of separation will be. I would also mention in the letter that you are still willing to help him with his medical treatment, as long as he does not claim that you are reconciling by assisting him. Good luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 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.


Hello everyone - this site has been enormously helpful! Quick background - husband and I have been married for 8.5 years, been going downhill for some time now, and we have come to terms with the fact that we will be divorcing. I have been the breadwinner for the duration of our marriage, and he is currently going through an intense medical treatment which will last until June of next year. Due to many circumstances, I would like to get things started, but will be hard-pressed to come up with additional monies to rent another residence. The house is in both of our names, the mortgage in mine alone, and he has asked that I allow him to remain in the house for his treatment, after which he will sign a quitclaim and give the house back to me legally.

I know you have to live separate and apart for a year and a day prior to filing, and I know that falisifying separation dates is not a valid option (that was his suggestion - haha). My question to you is - if I have the option to stay overnights with a neighbor for the entire year, would this legally constitute a separation? I need to stay closeby to help with the house, and this seems to be a feasible option.

Another option is having him move in with his parents (who are moving one state away at the end of July). He would need to come up here bi-weekly for doctor’s appointments, and would want to stay at the house. If I do not stay at the house when he is there, is that sufficient to maintain the separation?

Thank you in advance for your kind advice. I have already had a paid consultation with a lawyer, and am currently working to save up the full fees.