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Our Charlotte divorce lawyers are regularly asked about abandonment by clients contemplating separation and divorce. The concept of abandonment creates a great deal of confusion for people unfamiliar with the intricacies of North Carolina divorce law…and for good reason. NC law requires that spouses be separated (living apart under separate roofs with the intent to remain permanently separated) for one year prior to filing for divorce. However, NC law also provides that one spouse may be deemed to have abandoned the other spouse if that spouse moves from the marital residence without the consent of the non-moving spouse, for no good cause, and with the intent for the move to be permanent.
So how do parties separate without fear of one party abandoning the other? There are several ways to potentially avoid or limit the viability of an abandonment claim: (1) sign a non-abandonment agreement; (2) get written consent from the non-moving spouse; or (3) make sure that the move is for good cause.
There are several important considerations to keep in mind regarding the topic of abandonment: (1) an fault spouse who receives consent to move out does not escape a potential abandonment claim based on the consent only; (2) NC recognizes the crime of domestic criminal trespass so moving spouses should be familiar with our laws prior to returning home; (3)
For more detail on all of the information above, check out our full blog on abandonment in North Carolina divorce law.
Hunter & Hein, Attorneys at Law, PLLC