North Carolina is a no fault divorce state and, as discussed on our Absolute Divorce page, there are only two grounds for divorce in North Carolina: separation for one year, and incurable insanity. In some situations, the conduct of one spouse, allows for the finding of marital misconduct, which can be grounds for a Divorce from Bed and Board. It is important to understand that a Divorce from Bed and Board is not an Absolute Divorce, and it does not terminate the marriage, but merely terminates some of the rights and responsibilities that come with the marriage.
In order for a Divorce from Bed and Board to be granted in only limited circumstances upon a finding by the court that one of the following acts has been committed by one of the spouses:
- Abandons his or her family.
- Maliciously turns the other out of doors.
- By cruel or barbarous treatment endangers the life of the other. In addition, the court may grant the victim of such treatment the remedies available under G.S. 50B-1, et seq.
- Offers such indignities to the person of the other as to render his or her condition intolerable and life burdensome.
- Becomes an excessive user of alcohol or drugs so as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and the life of that spouse burdensome.
- Commits adultery.
In many circumstances, a Divorce from Bed and Board is sought in order to compel one spouse to leave the marital residence. In other cases, it is used to establish a basis of fault for purposes of an alimony action, since marital misconduct can be considered in a claim for alimony.
If you believe that you have a case that is appropriate for a claim for Divorce from Bed and Board, you should contact an attorney to discuss the particular circumstances of your situation.