Pros And Cons Of Bed And Board Divorce In North Carolina




Divorce is a significant choice that will affect many facets of your life. The effects are most noticeable in terms of emotions and money. Is it better to pursue a bed and board divorce or an absolute divorce? We hope that our blog post about the pros and cons of bed and board divorce will assist you in making the right decision for your marriage going forward.

In North Carolina, “bed and board” divorce is a legal separation rather than a complete dissolution of the marriage. Pros include maintaining certain financial benefits, such as health insurance, and religious considerations. However, cons may involve limited freedom to remarry and ongoing financial ties. Legal advice is crucial for a thorough understanding of your specific situation.

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The pros of a “bed and board” divorce in North Carolina include:

1. Maintaining Benefits

Spouses may retain certain financial benefits, such as health insurance, if they remain legally married but physically separated.

2. Religious Considerations

For individuals whose religious beliefs discourage divorce, a legal separation offers an alternative to maintain a level of separation while honoring religious values.

3. Time for Reflection

Legal separation provides a period for spouses to reflect on the relationship without the finality of divorce, potentially allowing for reconciliation.

4. Preservation of Marital Status

Some individuals prefer to keep the marital status intact for personal or social reasons while still living separate lives.

It’s essential to consider the specific circumstances and goals of both parties, and consulting with a family law attorney is advisable to navigate the legal implications.


The cons of a “bed and board” divorce in North Carolina include:

1. Restriction on Remarriage

A bed and board divorce doesn’t allow for remarriage, as the marriage is not fully dissolved. If you wish to remarry, you would need to pursue a formal divorce.

2. Continued Financial Ties

While separated, there might still be financial obligations between spouses, such as alimony or property division, depending on the specific terms of the separation agreement.

3. Limited Independence

It may restrict personal independence, as certain decisions may still require mutual agreement or court involvement.

4. Emotional Strain

The separation without complete closure may lead to prolonged emotional strain and uncertainty for both parties.

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It’s crucial to consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pros and Cons of Bed And Board Divorce

1. What is the difference between legal separation and divorce?

Legal separation allows spouses to live apart while remaining married, preserving certain benefits. Divorce, on the other hand, dissolves the marriage entirely.

2. Can I remarry during a legal separation in North Carolina?

No, a “bed and board” divorce does not allow remarriage. For that, a formal divorce is necessary.

3. How is property division handled during a legal separation?

Couples can negotiate property division terms in a separation agreement. If an agreement isn’t reached, the court may decide.

4. Do I need a lawyer for a “bed and board” divorce?

While not mandatory, consulting a family law attorney is advisable to ensure legal requirements are met and your interests are protected.

5. Can a legal separation be converted to a divorce in the future?

Yes, spouses can convert a legal separation to a divorce if both parties agree or after a certain waiting period.

6. Are child custody and support addressed in a separation agreement?

Yes, a separation agreement can outline arrangements for child custody, visitation, and support.

7. How long does a “bed and board” divorce take in North Carolina?

The timeline varies, but it typically involves a waiting period before the court grants the divorce.

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