To qualify for an absolute divorce in North Carolina you must be legally separated for at least one year and a day.Legal separation occurs on the date when one or both spouses move into a separate residence with the intention of living apart permanently.Sexual intercourse, overnight stays, and out of town trips between spouses who are separated can sometimes blur the line as to when the date of separation occurred, especially if one party believes that such contact is made in an effort to reconcile.If a party disputes the date of separation on the basis of reconciliation, then the court considers whether there was a voluntary renewal of the marital relationship based on the totality of the circumstances.Defendants that have committed criminal conversation will not face criminal penalties or the possibility of jail time.Criminal conversation requires solid proof that your spouse engaged in sexual relations with the third-party defendant.*You cannot live in the same residence and be legally separated.In some cases, couples can be separated while living in the same residence if the residence has essentially been divided into two independent, unconnected dwelling units.
While isolated instances of spending time together or even isolated instances of sexual conduct between the spouses does not necessarily count as reconciliation for legal purposes, it is best to avoid these activities if you know you do not want to reconcile with your spouse.
You do not need a separation agreement nor do you have to file any papers or documents to be separated in North Carolina.
Furthermore, having a separation agreement, in itself, does not create a legal separation.
The information in this article is based on North Carolina state laws in effect at the time of posting.
Adultery can be used as a basis for divorce in North Carolina.
In addition, North Carolina is one of the few states where an innocent spouse can sue a third-party that broke up the marriage.