North Carolina takes a “no fault” policy in regard to divorce. This means that one spouse does not have to prove any fault in order for the court to grant a divorce.
“The only stipulation that North Carolina courts require is a legal separation of at least a year,” said Thomas D. Bumgardner, Charlotte divorce lawyer. “But, in some cases a divorce from bed and board may be necessary. Fault can be placed upon one spouse if certain grounds are met and legal separation may be forced.”
What is Divorce by Bed and Board / When is it Necessary?
Divorce by bed and board is a misnomer because it is not actually a divorce. Rather, it is a mandatory legal separation. In most cases, a divorce by bed and board is necessary when one spouse refuses to enter a separation agreement.
What Grounds Must be Met?
In order to be granted a divorce by bed and board, one of the following grounds must be met:
- Abandonment of the Family – Simply put, this happens when one spouse has willfully moved to a separate residence with no consent from the other spouse and/or they have ceased monetary support.
- Malicious Turning out of Doors – This is related to “abandonment of family,” but in this instance, one spouse has maliciously evicted another from the marital home without justifiable provocation.
- Cruel or Barbarous Treatment Endangering the Spouse’s Life – In basic terms, this covers physical (and sometimes mental) abuse of one spouse.
- Personal Indignities – A spouse must prove that the other willfully committed physical or mental indignities that are considered inappropriate with the intention of annoyance or harm.
- Excessive Alcohol or Drug Use – One spouse’s alcohol or drug use creates an environment that is intolerable and burdensome to the marriage. These behaviors must be proven to be frequent in nature.
- Adultery – Infidelity may be grounds for divorce by bed and board if it is considered cruel and the other spouse gives no consent.
Have Questions? Contact a Charlotte Divorce Attorney
Separation and divorce can be a complex matter. Before you make any decisions or take any action in regard to divorce, consult with an attorney beforehand. An experienced attorney will be able to guide you to the best solution for you and your family.
Thomas D. Bumgardner has years of experience practicing family law in the Charlotte and Ballantyne area. For a free consultation, please call (704) 870-4779.