Under North Carolina law, a married couple becomes separated when they move into separate homes and at least one of them has the intent not to resume the marriage. There are some legal consequences of separating, so it is vital for couples considering a separation or divorce to contact a family law attorney to help them understand their options and legal rights. Each state has a different set of laws governing legal separation, which can make it difficult to find information on your own about the difference between a legal separation and a divorce. Our Charlotte and Concord legal separation lawyers have seen how many people are overwhelmed by the emotional aspects of this situation, making it difficult to determine the best course of action. We are prepared to help you navigate the North Carolina family law system and to ensure that you are setting yourself up for a satisfactory outcome.Legal Separation Rules in North Carolina
Legal separation is a step that many couples will need to take if they are considering obtaining a divorce. According to North Carolina law, couples must be legally separated for one year and one day before they can qualify for a divorce. This includes living in separate residences with the intent to dissolve the marital relationship.
If the couple decides to separate but remains living in the same residence, the court will not count that time toward the 366-day requirement. It is required that both parties obtain separate residences if they wish to be legally separated. It is not required that you sign or file any document to start the clock ticking towards the one year and a day of separation. Some spouses are able to avoid court all together and resolve all issues related to their separation through a Separation and Property Settlement Agreement, but the keyword here is Agreement. Our legal separation attorneys can help Charlotte and Concord residents determine whether this arrangement may work for them.
One of the most helpful steps that a couple can take before entering into a legal separation is coming to an agreement on major issues regarding the separation and how they will conduct themselves for the 366-day period. The parties can draft a Separation Agreement and Property Settlement that will serve as a written contract between the parties. Once it is signed and notarized, the parties can enforce the terms of the contract against each other. This agreement is not required, but it can help prevent any disputes from arising, and provide a speedy resolution to your case. It is not enough to have this agreement in order to become legally separated. The parties must still live apart in separate residences with the intent to remain apart.
One of the additional advantages of creating this type of agreement is avoiding court costs and lengthy litigation. In addition to consulting a Charlotte or Concord legal separation attorney, the spouses can obtain a mediator or other third party to help them find common ground on issues that may be difficult to discuss. Some of the key issues that spouses may cover in a Separation Agreement and Property Settlement include child support, child custody, spousal support, the division of property, and the allocation of debts. A dedicated family law attorney can help you evaluate your situation to determine whether a Separation Agreement and Policy Settlement may be suitable for your situation.Get Advice Regarding a Legal Separation from a Family Law Attorney
Each separation or divorce proceeding is unique. No two people are the same, and couples always face unique issues. Although North Carolina laws regarding separation and divorce are clear, how those laws apply to a particular situation can be complex. At the Olsinski Law Firm, we proudly provide compassionate and supportive legal counsel to individuals dealing with family law issues throughout Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties, including in Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill, Cornelius, Davidson, Pineville, Kannapolis, Harrisburg, Midland, and Mount Pleasant. To learn more about our services and set up an appointment with a legal separation lawyer in Charlotte or Concord, call our Charlotte office at 704-405-2580 or our Concord office at 704-918-4747, or contact us online.