In North Carolina, couples must live apart for a period of one year before they can obtain a divorce. It is helpful to seek legal guidance from a separation lawyer in Wilmington, North Carolina. A couple’s separation begins as soon as they start living apart. During this separation period, couples are not allowed to reside in the same house.
While your separation is considered legal when you live apart, it may be in your best interest to get a legal separation agreement. A separation attorney can answer your questions and guide you through the process of getting a legal separation.
What is a Legal Separation Agreement?
A legal separation agreement is a legal contract for couples to utilize during the interim period of separation before a divorce. In North Carolina, there are several options for obtaining a legal separation. Couples may enter into a separation contract, a Separation Agreement and Property Settlement (SAPS), or obtain a Court Order. A legal separation lawyer in Wilmington, NC, will review your situation and help determine the best route to take in your case. Keep in mind that all cases are different and your circumstances must be taken into consideration when you decide how to handle your separation.
Separation Agreement and Property Settlement
A separation agreement and property settlement is a way to distribute your assets and liabilities in preparation for a divorce. The separation agreement should be as detailed as possible so that you are protected during the process. Your legal separation attorney will ensure that the document contains everything necessary to ensure a smooth proceeding once you are ready to divorce.
A court order is made by a judge and creates a legal requirement for both parties. The failure to abide by a court order could result in criminal penalties. One or the other spouse may request a legal separation based on marital misconduct. Types of misconduct may include such things as adultery, drug or alcohol addiction or conviction of a crime, among others.
This type of legal separation is called a “divorce from bed and board,” however, it is not a divorce at all. It is basically a legal separation. It is helpful to speak to a Wilmington separation lawyer to find out more about these types of cases.
A legal separation typically remains in effect until you finalize your divorce. At that time, the divorce order takes over, and you must follow the new order of the court in regards to all of the issues of your divorce. If you or your spouse violates the order, it could be cause for legal action. Talk to your Wilmington, NC separation lawyer to find out how to proceed.