Thinking About Getting Separated
Before you make the decision to separate in North Carolina, there are several important issues you should consider where will you live? Can you support yourself financially? What will you tell your children?
Many people find it helpful to create a budget and begin compiling copies of important financial records before moving out of the house.
Getting separated in North Carolina does not require any special legal action. You are considered to be separated once you and your spouse begin living in separate residences with the intent to continue living apart.
North Carolina law requires you to be separated for one year before you can legally file for divorce. However, you can file a lawsuit addressing important issues such as spousal support, child support and child custody, and equitable distribution prior to divorce.
Divorce in North Carolina
Once you have been separated for at least one year and if you or your spouse have been a legal North Carolina resident for at least six months you can file a lawsuit in District Court asking for a divorce.
When a North Carolina divorce complaint is filed, it may include demands related to child custody, spousal support, child support, equitable distribution and other matters related to the divorce.
If you have been served with a divorce complaint by your spouse, you have 30 days to file a response with the court. This response should include any counterclaims. Equitable distribution and alimony claims are cut off if you do not assert them prior to the finalization of the divorce.