What Is a Divorce from Bed and Board in North Carolina?

Although couples naturally plan to remain together when they marry, circumstances can change. While sometimes both partners agree to divorce, one may protest in other cases. Some marriages include abuse or adultery. North Carolina’s divorce laws address many potential situations.
If you choose not to file for an absolute divorce, you may be able to seek a divorce from bed and board in North Carolina. Matthew Davis, our experienced divorce attorney at Davis Curry Law in Hendersonville, NC is available to contact when you’re seeking a bed and board divorce.

What Is Divorce From Bed and Board in NC?

In an absolute divorce, the decree dissolves all legal connections between spouses after at least a 12-month separation. This is a no-fault divorce, meaning that courts can grant it without either spouse committing any offenses. Both partners can remarry after an absolute divorce.
In other cases, people choose to seek a bed and board divorce in NC. This type of divorce differs from an absolute divorce in many ways:
  • The decree doesn’t legally dissolve the marriage, so neither spouse can remarry.
  • It is a fault-based legal separation ordered by the court.
  • The complaining spouse must provide evidence of specific types of fault-based grounds.
  • The decree significantly impacts the rights of the losing spouse.
  • You are economically independent while still legally married.
Successfully handling the legal requirements and gathering evidence that proves your spouse is guilty of a qualifying offense is often challenging without the assistance of a competent divorce attorney.

What 6 Offenses Qualify You To Seek a Bed and Board Divorce in NC?

If your spouse takes one of these actions that causes injury to you, you have grounds to seek a divorce from bed and board in NC:
  1. Abandonment
  2. Adultery
  3. Barbarous or cruel treatment
  4. Excessive use of alcohol or drugs
  5. Maliciously turning out of doors
  6. Personal indignities
Injuries you sustain don’t have to be physical; emotional and mental damages also qualify. Many qualifying situations state that the offense must endanger your life or make your life overly burdensome or intolerable. To use these offenses as cause, you must not have provoked the actions.
If your spouse didn’t commit these offenses, you can’t seek or obtain this type of divorce.

Why Wouldn’t You File for an Absolute Divorce?

When you decide that living with your spouse as a married couple is no longer an option, you have a choice. You might prefer a “partial” divorce rather than a permanent one for several reasons:
  • Your religious beliefs don’t allow divorce.
  • You think a future reconciliation is possible, but you need time apart first.
  • You need legal grounds to remove your spouse from your marital residence quickly.
  • You desire the court to order alimony, child support or custody.
When you speak to an attorney at our firm about seeking a divorce, we will help you decide which type will work best for your current and future needs and goals.

What Impact Does a Divorce From Bed and Board in NC Have on the Losing Spouse?

The at-fault spouse faces many repercussions if a North Carolina court orders a bed and board divorce. The guilty spouse may lose legal rights, including the right to:
  • Cohabitate: The court may order an eviction because the spouses must live separately.
  • Estate: The winning spouse might not need consent to sell marital property, and the losing spouse may not be able to inherit or administer the prevailing partner’s estate if they die without a will.
  • Support: The court may prevent the losing spouse from seeking alimony or award alimony to the complaining spouse based on the misconduct.
The court order can affect child custody and support and other rights typically associated with a marriage. The order won’t affect separately owned property. While the at-fault spouse loses rights, the prevailing spouse does not.
Certain spousal benefits remain in effect, like health insurance coverage, Social Security retirement or pension benefits.
During your case consultation, Matthew Davis from Davis Curry Law will explain how a court-ordered bed and board divorce will affect your specific situation.

How Long Does a Divorce From Bed and Board Take?

If you desire a divorce from bed and board in NC, you’ll benefit from hiring an experienced divorce lawyer. Your attorney understands the state’s divorce laws, how they affect you and how to find evidence proving that you qualify to seek a bed and board divorce.
Once you file, the court’s schedule determines how long the divorce takes. Because this solution doesn’t require a one-year waiting period like an absolute divorce does, you can receive the decree in less than one year.

What If Your Spouse Falsely Accuses You?

Some spouses falsely accuse the other in an attempt to void marital rights. If your husband or wife files for a bed and board divorce and you didn’t commit the specified offenses, an attorney can help with your defense. Commonly used defenses include collusion, connivance, condonation and recrimination.

Why Choose Davis Curry Law?

Matthew Davis is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who focuses on divorce and family law. He’ll go above and beyond to serve you as his client, protecting your interests and fighting for the best possible resolution to your divorce matters.
Contact Davis Curry Law in Hendersonville today to see how Mr. Davis can help with your divorce from bed and board in North Carolina. Call us at 828-900-2420, email us or request your consultation online here  https://daviscurrylaw.com/contact-us/
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