Respected North Carolina Attorney Advises Spouses about Separation

Sanford family lawyer helps clients who want to separate without getting a divorce

There is no legal separation status in North Carolina. However, if you and your spouse live apart, it is wise to have a signed agreement in place that stipulates terms related to finances, use of the family home, parenting arrangements and other key concerns that exist during the separation period. At the Law Office of John M. Holmes, Jr. in Sanford, I advise clients about negotiating and preparing legally valid separation agreements. You can trust me to provide effective legal guidance as I seek to protect your rights and interests during the separation process.

What constitutes a legal separation in North Carolina for divorce purposes?

You can obtain a North Carolina divorce if you have lived separately and apart from your spouse for at least one year and one day. At least one of you must intend to dissolve the marriage. Living apart means that you live in separate homes and have separate addresses. You cannot simply sleep in separate bedrooms in the same home or move into a guest house at the same address as your ex. According to North Carolina law, if you still live in the same home even if your marital relationship is over, or even live apart at different addresses but neither you or your spouse intend to be permanently apart, then you are not considered legally separated for the purposes of divorce. I can answer any questions you may have about your living arrangements and whether you are eligible to get a divorce.

How will having a separation agreement benefit me?

You do not have to sign a separation agreement to qualify for a divorce as long as you are living apart with the intent to end your marriage within the appropriate timeframe. There are benefits to formalizing the terms of your separation though. By coming to a binding agreement on who gets custody of the children, who is paying or receiving child support and other issues, you can enforce the terms of the document in court if that becomes necessary. A separation agreement can also address how property will be divided, the division of marital debts and whether alimony will be paid.

If you can resolve issues in a separation agreement, you may reduce conflict during the separation. Moreover, you might be able to use these terms to form the basis of an eventual divorce order should you opt to dissolve the marriage at some point. Even if you intend to live separately but not divorce, a separation agreement will help you nail down financial and parenting concerns. For an agreement to be legally valid, both you and your spouse must sign it and have your signatures notarized. My family law firm can help you negotiate an agreement that is fair to you and clearly defines the responsibilities of both you and your spouse.

Contact a committed Sanford family lawyer for help

As a committed family lawyer at the Law Office of John M. Holmes, Jr. in Sanford, I assist North Carolinians who are contemplating separation and divorce by advising them about the separation process and preparing separation agreements. Call my firm at 919-897-2423 or contact me online to arrange a free consultation.