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Here are the answers to some common questions about legal separation in North Carolina. Ullman & Associates now for specific answers to your individual questions.

No, you do not need to be legally separated to obtain a North Carolina divorce.

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However, your spouse could become bitter if they learn that you have already started another relationship before the divorce decree is entered.

This could create hostility and complicate negotiations on matters such as alimony or custody. It is not against the law to date another person while still married.

An attorney can help you defend against false accusations.

For example, your actions may have been in reaction to your spouse’s bad behavior, your spouse may have already forgiven you for your actions or your spouse may have encouraged your actions. A legal separation agreement will include a plan regarding the custody and care of the couple’s children.

Third, you can file for a legal separation as soon as you want, whereas for a no-fault divorce the parties must have been physically separated for at least a year.

You or your spouse must be a resident of the state to file for separation in North Carolina.

Many couples, often with the help of mediation or counseling, make a decision to preserve their marriage.

Since a legal separation does not definitively end the marriage, reconciliation is always an option.

Then you may obtain separate orders regarding matters such as alimony, child support, custody and visitation.

Fault generally falls under one of the following categories: abandonment/turning out, adultery, cruel or barbarous treatment, indignities, or alcohol/drug abuse.

The agreement will spell out legal and physical custody, visitation, child support and how vacation times will be shared between the parents.