Divorce from bed and board in a simple way refers to a judicial separation. This means that the court is stepping into a marriage to force the spouses to separate. This typically occurs when one spouse wants to divorce and needs to have the other spouse removed from the home. There are specific factors associated with divorce from bed and board, however, that are important to understand. One of the consequences of this is that it may establish marital misconduct or fault, which could lay the groundwork for alimony demands or criminal charges. It can also give judges a frame of reference that one party is to blame and color their opinion.
A divorce from bed and board also affects the way distribution of property occurs, and establishes the official date of separation which is used to determine distribution of property. In addition, it ends the intestate and probate rights of the party found at fault with regard to the estate of the non-faulted party. There are many complex factors involved when it comes to the case of divorce from bed and board, and failing to secure counsel that’s well-versed in how it works can be extremely detrimental to your case.
North Carolina has a unique approach to divorce. There’s no easy way to end divorce quickly, since parties must stay separate for at least one full year in order for an absolute divorce to be granted. This year-long waiting period proved to be difficult to begin for many couples, so divorce from bed and board offers a solution for couples in particular situations. There are some statutory rules with regard to divorce from bed and board, however:
[A] Court may grant divorces from bed and board on application of the party injured, made as by law provided, in the following cases if either party:
(1) Abandons his or her family.
(2) Maliciously turns the other out of doors.
(3) 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.
(4) Offers such indignities to the person of the other as to render his or her condition intolerable and life burdensome.
(5) 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.
(6) Commits adultery.
It’s important to realize that divorce from bed and board is more like “suspending” the marriage rather than completely dissolving it. It offers a way out to a party not at fault and allows for the cessation of benefits from the non-faulty party to the faulted party.
Since this is a complex matter with multiple factors involved, it’s not something you want to navigate on your own. For professional representation that’s sensitive to your needs and interests, get skilled legal advice from Meek Law Firm. Call (704) 848-6335 to schedule a consultation.
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