Greetings. First, you become legally separated on the date that either of you leave the marital residence and one party to the marriage intends for the separation to be permanent. You do not need any “paperwork” to make it legal. Nevertheless, here are my answers:
Child Support can begin while you are still living together if she files and requests it. Otherwise it begins when a court order is entered, when you sign a separation agreement, or if you are a wise soul and begin paying some on the date of separation.
Depending on how soon you can agree, your wife’s attorney can have the separation agreement drafted in less than a week if your wife provides them with all the information needed.
You can complete them on your own, but I recommend that you have an attorney review everything and anything before you sign it. I also recommend to go see an attorney for a consultation prior to when you begin negotiations with your wife.
Yes, moving to South Carolina now can hurt your child custody claim and it will make it more costly for you to travel if your spouse files litigation. Otherwise, I see no reason why you should not move.
Day care costs are included in the calculation for child support. See our child support worksheet here on this website. Thanks
Janet L. Fritts
Attorney at Law
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
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.