Must I be legally separated in order to get a divorce?

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Must I be legally separated in order to get a divorce?

I have been separated from my husband for 1 year and now I am ready to start divorce proceedings. I recently was told by a friend that I am not able to because we never did a legal separation. Is this true?

Asked on February 2, 2012 under Family Law, North Carolina

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You do not need to be legally separated to file for a divorce. Legal separation is one option but keep in mind that your separation for one year could be considered an enforceable separation (for purposes of separating assets and debts and re-categorizing them as separate property instead of joint) if you lived separate and apart with no possibility of reconciliation. You should get an attorney though to begin the divorce process if there is going to be an issue regarding any of your assets.


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