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Having a separation agreement alone does not create a legal separation.

In North Carolina, you cannot live in the same residence and be legally separated.

You should understand that an attorney is bound by the legal profession's code of ethics to represent and advocate for the best interests of a single party.

The wife's attorney, for example, cannot serve as the legal counsel for the husband since it is presumed that each spouse's interests are different and conflicting.

In North Carolina, the separation of a married couple takes place when they move into separate residences with the intent of living separate and apart.

It is advisable for a couple contemplating legal separation in North Carolina to consult with their attorneys prior to their actual separation for the purpose of drafting a Separation Agreement and Property Settlement.

For example, the agreement can allow the couple can determine: The obvious advantage of a Separation Agreement and Property Settlement is that all these issues can be resolved without the need for costly litigation.

North Carolina is one of only a few states that allow spouses to keep property agreements, alimony agreements, and child support documents private.This is true where the couple is like-minded and their relationship remains open, amicable and even-handed.In most cases, however, married couples on the verge of legal separation will need their individual attorneys to handle their settlement negotiations.On the issue of whether a spouse should date after separation and before divorce, you should understand that post-separation dating can be used as evidence of adultery occurring during the marriage.If there was no illicit sexual conduct before your date of separation, then post-separation dating is not relevant to a claim for post-separation support or alimony.If you and your spouse are unable to settle, then the issues pertinent to your case - child custody and support, spousal support in the form of post-separation support and alimony, divorce from bed and board (discussed below), property division and absolute divorce - will be settled through court action.