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What Living Arrangements Are Acceptable When Separating?

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Absolute divorce requires that couples live “separate and apart” for a period of a year before they can obtain a divorce. This can be a source of great stress for many couples. Often, living separate and apart means that instead of one mortgage or monthly rent payment, that number doubles. Thus, the separate and apart arrangement can create great financial strain for couples that may have already experienced difficulty in making ends meet. As a result, many couples try to find ways to meet this requirement without breaking the bank. Some ideas that couples have tried include sleeping in separate beds, sleeping in different bedrooms, or one spouse living in the garage. Unfortunately, under North Carolina laws, separate and apart means that couples must live in separate residences—sleeping in different …