Separation is defined as living separate and apart. It does not specify that it is one location consistently. I would think it would be to the benefit of the person not in the home to have all of the possessions they would like to keep out of the home and if not with them at least in storage. It also will not give a false sense of hope to the person still in the home.
I have read many posts where spouse burned clothing or trashed belongings the other did not take. And also where the spouse that left felt that they had the right to come back to the home at any point since they still had belongings there. I had a friend whose wife left and took all of HIS belongings even his clothes and shoes and left all of her stuff in the home. For some reason, she thought she could negotiate money from him for his belongings. Since he was not a real sentimental person her belongings were disposed of, he changed the locks and called his attorney.
This is just my opinion, but I would suggest that no matter where you are staying, if this is a permanent separation leading to divorce, get all your belongings out of the home. If you do not know if something is yours, talk to your STBX and agree to take it or leave it.

Dear LindaW,

A separation is defined as the two of you living separate and apart and one of you intending for it to be permanent. If he is no longer staying in the marital residence and he is not on vacation, then I sould say your separation has begun.

Helena M. Nevicosi
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

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
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.

Is it correct that to be truly, legally separated, all of the spouse’s belongings (clothing, etc) have to be out of the home that was shared with their spouse? “Living” somewhere else does not mean just staying with various people and all your clothing and personal effects are at the home you had shared with your spouse. Does this make sense how I phrased this?