Contrary to the name, divorce from bed and board is not actually a divorce, rather, it is North Carolina’s form of legal separation. Divorce from bed and board typically occurs when the married parties are living together and neither party wants to leave the marital residence, or when one party attempts to refuse a separation.
Divorce from bed and board is a type of separation that occurs when one of the following “fault-based” grounds exists:
- Malicious turning of doors;
- Cruel or barbarous treatment that endangers the life of the other;
- Offering indignities to the person as to render their condition intolerable or life burdensome;
- Excessive use of alcohol or drugs as to render the condition of the other intolerable or life burdensome;
One party can file for divorce from bed and board when one of the above grounds exists and the other party is not willing to enter a separation. A Court will grant a divorce from bed and board when one of the grounds is proven at a trial.
Even if one of these grounds exists, there are defenses to a claim for divorce from bed and board. This allows the accused spouse to defend the allegations against them. The defenses to divorce from bed and board include:
- Condonation; and
Effects of Divorce from Bed and Board:
An Order granting a divorce from bed and board, will act as a legal separation, giving parties a separation date. The parties must remain separated for one-year before they are eligible for divorce. The Order will further state which party must move out of the marital residence, giving one party the home in the interim.
A decree for divorce from bed and board can have serious consequences, establishing fault grounds that may be used for claims of alimony or post-separation support.
If you believe grounds exist, or if your spouse has filed for divorce from bed and board and you would like to discuss your options, you should speak with an attorney. Contact King Law at 888-748- (5464)KING for a consultation. We have offices located across western North Carolina. King Law is here to serve you and help navigate this journey you are on.