if you have been apart from your spouce for over 20 years are you divorced legaly ?
2 Answers from Attorneys
There is a difference in North Carolina between a separation and a divorce. A divorce can only be entered by a judge. Either you or your spouse can petition the court for a divorce.
What you are describing sounds like the reverse of a common law marriage - a common law divorce, lol. There is no such thing in North Carolina. So, based on the information you presented, the answer is no - you are not legally divorced. If you never went through the formal divorce process, you are still married no matter how long you have been physically separated from each other. In fact it gets even worse, you may not even be separated in the legal sense. One of the requirements to be separated is that at least one of the parties has to have the intention not to resume the marital relationship. There are occasions where married couples physically separate but give no thought as to their intention to remain married. Technically speaking, if this happens you are not even separated.