In North Carolina, both spouses must live separate and apart for a full year, in order to qualify for a divorce. The parties are deemed “separated” once both live in two different residences, and at least one party does not intent to resume joint living arrangements. Additionally, the law does not require a separation agreement; however, it can be beneficial in family law cases. A separation agreement is essentially a contract between the parties, and is formed with the assistance of an attorney. The separation agreement can help layout the division of certain assets, debts, property, child custody, and support post-separation. A separation agreement is different from a court order, but can be incorporated into the divorce order, once the requirements for that have been established. Contact a family law attorney at Blood Law today, and see if you need this vital document.