Christine Melvin | Charlotte, N.C. Family Law Attorney
One of the most common questions we are asked as family law attorneys is: Do I need paperwork signed before I am legally separated? The short answer is no. To be considered “separated” under North Carolina law, you and your spouse must each live under separate roofs and at least one of you has to have the intent not to get back together. The requirement of living under separate roofs is simple- you cannot stay in the guest bedroom or in the garage and you must have a separate address.
Staying with a friend could count so long as the other requirement is satisfied; which is the intent not to get back together. However, there is no requirement that your intent has to be communicated to the other party and there is also no requirement that either party know that the other does not want to reconcile. One spouse simply has to have made up his or her mind that the separation is permanent.
When it comes to taking that difficult step and deciding to separate, my best advice is to go see a qualified family law attorney before you make that move. I have had plenty of clients who spent more money trying to clean up a mess that could have been avoided with some strategy and planning. At Hatcher Law Group, we are discrete and always mindful of your privacy. If you have questions about your family law matter, contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.
Christine Melvin focuses her practice exclusively on family law matters, including separation and divorce, child custody and support and property distribution.