North Carolina requires that prior to divorce, spouses live separate and apart for a period of 12 months. The couples must actually live separate and apart; it is insufficient to live in separate parts of the house or separate bedrooms. Even couples living in separate households who maintain the appearance of being married do not meet the separation requirement.

  • Examples of maintaining the appearance of being married include appearances in public places, shared meals, shared travel, access to one another’s living spaces, as well as other factors.

The process of divorce begins with separation and comes with a number of life-changing challenges. An attorney does not have to draft the separation agreement or be present when one is signed, but it is a good idea to involve an attorney in the process.

If you are considering separation or divorce, it is best to consult with a professional you can trust. If you have questions about separation, call the law firm of SeiferFlatow today at 704-512-0606 to set up a consultation.

Don’t let divorce take away the life you’ve built. Trust the attorneys at SeiferFlatow to help deliver you safely through this difficult time.

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Meet the Family Law Team

missy foard

Missy Foard

Partner - Head of Family Law

Missy’s mission is to help individuals navigate through these highly bureaucratic systems while providing superior client service and advocacy.

Read more about Missy and how she helps her family law clients in NC.

Megan Kahane

Megan Kahane

Associate Attorney

Megan understands that each client’s situation is unique, and she is committed to serving as a fierce and compassionate advocate for all of her clients. She practices empathy with every client to ensure that they feel that their concerns are heard and their needs are met.

lisa davies

Lisa Davies


In her 10-plus years of experience as a family law paralegal, Lisa has become passionate about putting the client’s needs first. She understands the circumstances that bring clients to our office are often unsettling and it is her desire to use her experience and skills to make the process a little easier. 


"Attorney Missy Foard is an extremely effective lawyer with high professional standards. During my divorce, she was knowledgeable, organized, and very responsive. The attentiveness to detail and the care they give clients is exceptional."

—  Connie
Google Review

"Missy kept me informed every step of the way with my divorce case. I couldn't have done this process on my own."

—  Ethan
Google Review

"I've only had a consultation about a custody case, thus far, with Missy Foard and I can promise you she is an amazing woman. She's knowledgeable, professional, kind, funny, and affable. Words cannot express how hopeful and elated I felt leaving our meeting. It meant the world to me. I would and will recommend anyone to this law firm. Thank you so much, Missy."

—  Jaleesa
Google Review