Hayes, Williams, Turner & Daughtry, P.A.
910-292-6147

Divorcing in North Carolina? Document your separation carefully

In North Carolina, like the rest of the nation, you can get a no-fault divorce fairly easily.

However, just like every other state, North Carolina has its legal quirks. You can get your no-fault divorce in a single day -- but only after living apart from your spouse for a year.

It's important to understand that you and your spouse do not have to be legally separated with any formal paperwork prior to your divorce -- you simply have to establish separate households. You cannot live in the same household in separate rooms.

While your family law attorney is always your best source of information, here are some documents that you should begin to collect in order to establish your date of separation:

  1. A copy of your lease or the deposit you've made on your new apartment or home.
  2. If you've moved in with a friend, a notarized agreement about the living arrangement. Include any financial or "in kind" contributions (like household repairs) you'll make.
  3. Documents showing that you have rented a storage unit to store your personal items if you've done so.
  4. Change your mailing address with the Post Office online. That gives you a receipt showing the date your mail began to be forwarded.
  5. Copies of any utility bills that are in your name at your new place.
  6. Copies of your internet and cellphone bills. If you shared a family cellphone plan, bite the financial bullet and get an individual plan.
  7. Copies of credit card bills that have come to your new address.
  8. Bank statements showing that you have opened an account in your own name, without your spouse.
  9. Your voter registration card, if you vote, showing your new address.
  10. Any medical bills and insurance statements sent to your new address.
  11. A copy of the email or other paperwork you gave to your employer to update your mailing address for your W2 or 1099.
  12. A copy of your tax return, showing that you are living apart from your spouse and your unique address.

If you need more help figuring out what you can use to show your date of separation and how to determine the date that will likely control the date of your divorce, a family law attorney can help.

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