My wife and I have been married 20 years. Our child is graduating from high school this year, and we are miserable. We own a home with lots of debt and we cannot afford to separate without selling our home first. We both work, but there simply is not enough money to maintain two households without first selling the house. Is there any way we can declare ourselves separated and maintain the same household until the house sells? Why is the North Carolina waiting period for divorce a year? I hear that one year is a long time as compared to other states. Can we settle our property now? We have retirement, cars and furniture, along with the house?
Generally, North Carolina requires 365 days of separation, with the intent of one spouse to live separate and apart forever, before a spouse may apply to the court for an absolute divorce. Separation in this state means, literally that the spouses, during separation, must have separate residences and essentially, conduct themselves as single for the entire 365 days. Isolated incidences of sexual intercourse, such as a weekend at the beach with an estranged spouse, do not start the 365 day period over.