If your spouse will agree to participate, you might consider employing a certified family law mediator to help you negotiate an agreement that both husband and wife would be willing to sign.
North Carolina requires a year separation period before filing for absolute divorce.
One thing people want to know often is how soon can they start dating again after they have separated from their spouse.
Their main concern tends to be what constitutes adultery and when is it safe for them to get back out and start dating.
Although the law does not require a couple to sign paperwork when they separate, you should consider having a lawyer draft a separation agreement if you decide to live apart. A separation agreement is a written contract between a husband and wife.
So, technically, any new relationship could potentially be viewed as an adulterous relationship and your spouse could pursue a divorce against you on the grounds of adultery.
What is my exposure (if any) if I decide to date during the period between separation and divorce?
Until a person is officially divorced, an sexual relations outside the marriage may be considered adultery, which may be considered marital misconduct in terms of alimony. South Carolina law requires that one of the spouses must be a resident of the state for a minimum of one year, but if both spouses are residents, residency of only three (3) months is required immediately prior to the filing of the petition for divorce.
So, to be absolutely safe and to be sure that you do not have to worry about an adultery defense, you should avoid any relationships until you are legally separated or divorced from your spouse.
As long as you are still married, I cannot recommend that you begin dating.