A legal separation allows you to remain married but live separately until either you either reconcile or file for divorce. In North Carolina, neither spouse needs to be held at fault for a couple to get divorced.To obtain a legal separation, however, the person who files must provide information establishing that his or her spouse was at fault.
Spouses do not have to formally document their separation for it to be effective as grounds for divorce or file any paperwork with the court to establish a date of separation.
Though spouses cannot legally file for divorce until they have been separated for at least a year, courts typically do not ask the spouses to provide proof of the separation period.
The litigation of child-related and other issues may take place after the divorce is final, but the petition reserving the right to have the court decide these issues later must be filed before the divorce is final.
Otherwise, the court can only address child support and child custody after the divorce is final.
For a divorce to be uncontested, you and your spouse must agree on the reason for the divorce and the terms of the settlement, such as property division, child custody and alimony.
However, if you and your spouse contest, or dispute, the terms of your divorce -- or the reason for the divorce itself -- the process may be longer and more expensive.
If you live in separate houses but maintain the appearance of a relationship, this will not satisfy the requirement either.
Additionally, if you reconcile with your spouse, the separation period ends.
Divorcing spouses must address the terms of their divorce, including topics such as custody, property division and support.
They can do this by negotiating a written, signed separation agreement.
Instead, you and your spouse can agree at any time before you fulfill the requirement to live apart about how you want to split your property.