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.

izzy vaughan-jones

Izzy Vaughan-Jones

Associate Attorney

Izzy joined the SeiferFlatow Team in 2021 to assist Family Law and Civil Litigation clients. She is focused on helping counsel and advise people through challenging situations involving divorce, custody, and family law. Learn more about Izzy. 

Nina Moulas

Nina Moulas

Associate Attorney

Nina has focused her practice on assisting clients with family law matters including separation, divorce, and child custody.  She recognizes the importance of truly listening to clients and helping them navigate through a challenging time. 

brandi dehart

Brandi DeHart


Brandi is often the first point of contact when someone needs information about starting the divorce process, how to handle a child custody situation, what their next steps should be in the separation process, and more.

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

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

—  Ethan
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"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
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