Divorce From Bed and Board
This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive explanation of bed and board divorce in North Carolina, as well as to highlight the distinctions between it and regular divorce.
When violence, infidelity, or cruelty are present, a divorce from bed and board is a viable alternative for separation in North Carolina.
This is a legal separation granted by a court in which the couple remains married but leads separate lives; it is not a divorce in the traditional sense of the word.
What Separates a Divorce from Bed & Board from an Absolute Divorce?
In North Carolina, divorces typically follow a separation period of one year and one day during which the couple resided apart. There is no need for either spouse to prove fault (adultery or abuse) in order to obtain an absolute divorce. As long as the couple can prove they are married and have fulfilled the separation criteria, the court will approve the divorce.
In some circumstances, if one of the spouses is determined to have incurable insanity, the court in North Carolina may also issue a divorce. To find out more about your options for divorce based on your circumstances, speak with a North Carolina divorce attorney.
A divorce from bed and board, on the other hand, is not a legal “divorce”. It is a separation mandated by the court, not the dissolution of a legal marriage. After being granted a divorce from bed and board, spouses can continue to live apart as long as they are legally married.
Who Is Eligible for a Bed and Board Divorce?
This divorce is only possible in very specific situations. This kind of separation may be approved by the court if:
1. To “render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and the life of that spouse burdensome,” a spouse engages in excessive drinking or drug usage.
2. A spouse engages in adultery
3. A spouse deserts their family
4. A spouse forcibly drives the other spouse from their home
5. A spouse puts the other spouse’s life in danger by treating them cruelly and barbarous
6. A spouse mistreats the other spouse to the point where their condition becomes unbearable and their life burdensome.
Stated differently, the court may opt to award a bed and board divorce in cases when one partner abuses drugs or alcohol, engages in adultery, or mistreats the other spouse severely. These problems can make it extremely difficult for spouses to cohabitate or communicate while residing in the same home.
What Effect Does a Bed and Board Divorce Have on Spousal Rights?
Spousal rights are significantly impacted by a divorce based on it, particularly for the spouse who is initially at fault. The rights that the spouses have against one another are altered, even though the marriage is not dissolved.
For instance, the guilty spouse is not allowed to cohabitate with the other spouse. As a result of their separation, the couple must live in different homes. Furthermore, in the event that the deceased spouse leaves no will, the guilty spouse forfeits their entitlement to their spouse’s assets.
In addition, property distribution, child custody and support, and spousal support may all be impacted by it. A divorce from bed and board order may affect the way the court divides property, grants support, and determines custody because it stems from the fault of one spouse. Significantly, separation agreements can still be signed by spouses who are divorced from it in order to settle some of these problems.
What Happens If a Couple Gets Back Together After Divorce on Bed and Board?
Spousal rights are affected when bed and board is reconciled following a divorce. The spouse who was at fault will reclaim the previously mentioned lost spousal rights if the couple gets back together after the separation is decreed. If the couple decides to split up again after getting back together, they will have to file for divorce from bed and board or serve out a one-year separation period.
Furthermore, a year of separation is still required for spouses who obtain a divorce from bed and board before they may file for divorce officially. Make sure you get the assistance of a North Carolina divorce attorney if you’d like more information about divorces from bed and board.
Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce From Bed and Board
1. In North Carolina, what is divorce from bed and board?
In North Carolina, a court-mandated procedure called “divorce from bed and board” allows a couple to live apart but maintain their legal marriage.
2. What distinguishes it from an outright divorce?
Divorce from bed and board results in a legal separation rather than the complete dissolution of the marriage, as opposed to an absolute divorce.
3. What legal grounds exist in North Carolina for a divorce from bed and board?
Typical reasons include being abandoned, purposefully leaving the house, being treated cruelly or barbarically, suffering humiliations that make life unpleasant, and abusing drugs or alcohol.
4. What impact does it have on alimony and property division?
Assets obtained during the divorce are kept separate, and maintenance may be granted. But financial obligations can still exist.
5. Is it possible for any partner to ask for reconciliation during this time?
Yes, either partner may seek reconciliation; however, the restoration of marital relations requires the consent of the court.
6. How much time does it take to get a divorce from bed and board finalized?
Although the time frame varies, it usually entails judicial hearings and may take many months.
7. Does a bed and board divorce inevitably result in an outright divorce?
No, it doesn’t. After fulfilling the residency criteria, spouses need to initiate a separate action for absolute divorce.
8. Can a bed and board divorce be agreed upon by both parties?
Yes, a consent decree for divorce from bed and board may be filed provided both spouses approve to the terms.
9. What effect does it have on child support and custody?
Court rulings may have an impact on the ultimate divorce settlement, and child custody and support issues can be discussed during the formal separation.