Understanding divorce from bed and board in North Carolina

Most couples marry with the intention to stay faithful, but divorce can happen to couples with the best intentions. Divorce from bed and board offers a solution for couples who need to maintain a year of separation before an absolute divorce is granted.

The common types of at-fault divorces

In North Carolina, you can get legal separation by asking the court for a divorce from bed and board. This process doesn’t qualify as divorce, but it does remove several rights and obligations assigned to marriage. This process proves useful if both parties want to maintain the residence but neither party wants to leave. It also offers a way out if one spouse behaves abusively or neglectfully. For a successful divorce from bed and board in some states, one party must prove that the other party committed a fault-based action.

North Carolina acts as a no-fault divorce state. When a couple meets the requirement of living apart for one year, the judge may grant a divorce. Divorce from bed and board considers fault-based actions, which allows the court to issue a court-ordered separation before finalizing the divorce.

Navigating an at-fault divorce requires an understanding of how certain actions can contribute to a loss of certain rights. North Carolina General Statute 50-7 accounts for six scenarios in a divorce from bed and board application:

  • Abandonment
  • Humiliation
  • Cruel and unbearable treatment
  • Substance abuse
  • Adultery
  • Forced departure from the home

The process of getting a divorce

Understanding how fault applies in a divorce from bed and board situation can help you better navigate your divorce and make the right decisions. Couples who don’t yet meet the requirements for divorce may want to consider a divorce from bed and board as a means of securing a legal separation before receiving an absolute divorce.

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