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Abandonment versus Separation

In Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Everyone handles the deterioration of their marriage differently. Some couples try for years to work things out through couples therapy and varying levels of effort on the part of each spouse. Other couples end things quickly—ranging from an amicable to explosively contested separation. Another possible scenario involves a spouse abandoning the other spouse. To become legally divorced in North Carolina, a couple must be separated for a full year before they can obtain a no-fault divorce. However, just because divorces are no-fault does not mean that marital misconduct is irrelevant. It is important to understand that separation and abandonment are not the same things, and that abandonment can actually have a significant impact on spousal support and child custody awards. Abandonment and Alimony A spouse can demonstrate that abandonment occurred …