The requirement that the parties live “separate and apart” for one year prior
to the institution of the action is also jurisdictional. You do not have to prove, however, that the separation occurred on the specific date alleged in the complaint but only that you and your spouse have lived separate and apart for a period of at least one year prior to the institution of the suit. But if you and your spouse have not lived separate and apart for at least a year, you are not eligible for an absolute divorce in North Carolina. Furthermore, it is not enough for you and your spouse to have moved into separate bedrooms in your residence, with a discontinuation of sexual relations. You and your spouse must in fact live in different places for the year.