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When a married couple breaks up, legal separation is usually the first step toward divorce. When a couple divorces in North Carolina, they must go through a separation that includes physically living apart for at least one year.
North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state. This means couples can divorce without legally assessing blame. But a legal separation in North Carolina, known as a “divorce from bed and board,” does require a finding of fault. One estranged spouse usually resorts to seeking legal separation to get the other spouse removed from the home. But keep in mind: Legal separation is not necessary for a divorce.
As your marriage dissolves, if you find that you have to obtain a legal separation in order to begin to move on with your life, it is likely that you are not headed toward an amicable or easy divorce.
A request for divorce from bed and board can easily require extensive investigation followed by complex and adversarial litigation. A positive outcome is more likely with the assistance of someone who understands North Carolina divorce law and has experience applying the law to a variety of circumstances.
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