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A separation agreement can protect your interests until the decision is made to file for divorce.

The separation agreement also sets a precedence for the divorce that may follow.

Unlike divorce, a legal separation does not put an end to the marriage, it enables you to live separately while remaining married.

During the time you are living apart, you have a court order that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each spouse.

Dating can have both personal and legal consequences that can be harmful to your divorce action.

Under North Carolina General Statute 50-6, a couple must be separated for one year before a divorce is final.

A thick, dark line separates legal separation from divorce.

Both involve living apart from your spouse under the terms of a court order, but with a legal separation, you’re still technically married.

The term “legal separation” -- sometimes called “judicial separation” -- implies that you took steps to get a court order setting the terms under which you and your spouse will live apart.

If, however, the terms of your separation agreement were not workable during the period of separation you can petition the court to draw up a new divorce settlement agreement.

A legal separation agreement can be a learning tool to use to find out what you can and can't live with after​ the divorce.

Even though separated, you are still technically married until the court enters the order granting the divorce.

North Carolina law still permits an action for “alienation of affection” against a third party whom the plaintiff feels is responsible for ending the marriage.

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Your legal separation agreement will cover all issues that would be covered in a final decree of divorce.

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