Is your spouse behaving in a way that is excessive and is therefore making your life and the lives of your children intolerable ?
One option for securing possession of the marital residence is via a divorce from bed and board. Before going further, it should be made clear that this is not an absolute divorce – if you obtain a bed and board divorce, you may not remarry. Divorce from bed and board is essentially a judicial or legal separation in North Carolina – to remarry, you still must obtain an absolute divorce.
A Divorce from Bed and Board is not granted lightly by judges, but it is one option you should discuss with an attorney.
So why bother with a divorce from bed and board? A few common reasons are:
- To force separation. If your husband or wife refuses to leave and you have grounds for a bed and board divorce, the court can order him/her out of the marital home as part of the divorce from bed and board.
- Health insurance. Because you are not legally divorced, a bed and board divorce allows you to remain on your spouse’s health insurance policy.
Fault vs. No-Fault
All states in the U.S. have adopted no-fault divorces. This means that you do not have to state your spouse wronged you or committed a “fault” in order to obtain a divorce. In North Carolina, you can obtain an absolute divorce once you have been separated for one year and one day. There are times, however, when the Court will consider fault and Divorce from Bed and Board is one of those cases.
A divorce from bed and board can only be obtained by alleging fault. In order to seek a divorce from bed and board, you must have grounds, which means you must allege that your spouse committed at least one of the following six acts:
- Abandonment of the marriage
- Maliciously turning you out of doors
- Treating you in a cruel way that endangers your life
- Commits acts or indignities that make your life intolerable
- Uses alcohol or drugs excessively and as a result makes your life intolerable
- Commits adultery
If at least one of the above six grounds apply to your situation, you may be able to obtain a divorce from bed and board and at the same time get the Court to award you possession of the marital home.
One final note: divorce from bed and board does not allow you to bypass the one year waiting period for absolute divorce.
Parker Herring Law Group, PLLC is a full-service family law firm with offices located in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. Our attorneys are available to represent you in an action for divorce from bed and board. We represent residents of Wake and Durham County including the cities of , Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Wake Forest, Fuquay Varina, Knightdale, Garner, Wendell Zebulon as well as Durham and Organge Counties including the citeis of Durham and Chapel Hill and Morrisville. We provide legal services in divorce, separation, child custody, child support, spousal support and alimony, absolute divorce as well as adoption.