Separation and Separation Agreement


NOT A LAWYER, but I too have been trying to figure all this stuff out. From what I understand you must be separated 1 year but you don’t have to have concrete proof, you just have to both testify under oath that this is true. As far as a separation agreement, you don’t have to have one (that’s also my understanding) but you should get one because once the divorce is final you have no legal recourse to equitable property distribution. Even though you are mutually agreeable to everything, you could either create your own separation agreement (there is an example somewhere on this site) or have a mediator draw up an agreement for you (and have it checked by an attorney) so that you won’t be in a legal bind after the divorce is final. My attorney friend highly recommended a separation agreement even though both of us are not in any kind of disagreement. Good luck!


Appreciate your help on this . Can any of the lawyers in the forum also please post the views on the same ?
I am worried because if we under oath declare that we are legally separated for a year and manage to get the divorce and later someone complains(maybe my current husband- just to harm me, I do not exactly trust him or his family - they always fooled me on various issues exploiting my innocence and trustworthy nature), I will land up in legal trouble . I can furnish only 7 month worth of proof to court after the end of one year .
Please advice .


Dear zodiactrojan:

Greetings. Let’s see:

  1. Yes, you need to wait until you have lived completely separate and apart for one year. If you lived somewhere else, just have people that know you testify about where you lived.

  2. A separation agreement is a legally binding document detailing the possible agreement between the parties for a number of issues, one of which is asset division. It is not a prerequisite, but remember that if you don’t resolve alimony and asset division prior to the date of the divorce, then you lose those rights. It is advised that you have an agreement.

There is no such thing as property sharing after a divorce. It belongs to one or the other of you, but not both. If you have joint ownership after the divorce, it will only take one of you to force a sale, etc. I would say that you need an agreement if you own anything that has a value over $1,000.00 that you do not wish to lose. 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.


Hi ,
I have read through many of the mails in the forum and based on my understanding can you please clarify following doubts ?

  1. Legal separation is needed for 1 year before filing divorce , but if I do not have proof of one year (I separated 8 months back but i have document proof only for last 3 months which says i have stayed separately in different house) how do I file for divorce after completion of one year?
  2. Is separation agreement a pre-requisite for filing divorce or is it just a legally binding document for dividing assets etc.
    Me and my husband are mutually agreeable to property sharing , we do not have child - in this scenario how important it is for me to have a separation agreement
    Thanks in advance