Just what the heck is Divorce from Bed and Board in North Carolina anyway? - The Law Offices of J. Scott Smith
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Bed and Board Divorce in North Carolina

A divorce from bed and board is not a regular divorce.  In fact, if it’s granted, the parties are still married. The other difference is that in North Carolina, a divorce doesn’t have to be fault based, but a divorce from bed and board is fault based.  What it does is it asks the court to evict one of the spouses from the marital home. There’s many times when this is needed since not all parties can separate amicably. If granted, a divorce from bed and board also establishes the legal separation date which allows the party seeking the action to base his or her time frame for the year countdown before an actual divorce is filed.  An order granting a divorce from bed and board can also affect property rights, estate rights, and maybe even child custody and support. North Carolina General Statute 50-7 lays out the grounds for divorce from bed and board. There are six grounds for divorce from bed and board in North Carolina, they are: 

  • Abandonment
  • maliciously turning the other spouse out of doors
  • cruel or barbarous treatment which endangers the life of the other spouse
  • indignities to the other spouse as to render his or her condition intolerable and life burdensome
  • excessive use of alcohol or drugs to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and life burdensome
  • commits adultery

An action for divorce from bed and board in North Carolina requires a court hearing in front of a Judge.  Examples of the grounds mentioned above would be for abandonment: one of the spouses leaves the marital home and doesn’t return and gives no reason or has no more contact with the other spouse.  I suppose that the best cliche example of this would be the quote “Daddy went out for a pack of cigarettes and never came back.” For maliciously turning the other spouse out of doors, an example would be coming home to find the locks changed and your suitcase packed and sitting on the front porch.  For cruel or barbarous treatment which endangers the life of the other spouse an example would be a husband beating his wife or assaulting her with a weapon. There’s also another statutory remedy in a case like this through North Carolina General Statute Chapter 50-B which is a domestic violence protective order.  For indignities to the other spouse as to render his or her condition intolerable and life burdensome an example would be the nagging spouse or a spouse that mentally abuses the other spouse by name calling and constant put downs. For excessive use of alcohol or drugs to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and life burdensome the example here is pretty easy, the spouse is an alcoholic or drug addict.  Commits Adultery is self explanatory.

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