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Divorce from Bed and Board

North Carolina law allows the Court to grant a “divorce from bed and board.” However, the name can be misleading as a divorce from bed and board is not the same thing as an absolute divorce. Actually, a divorce from bed and board is not a “divorce” in the traditional sense at all. A divorce from bed and board is more like a legal separation since it is one of the few ways for a court to force parties to get separated.

A divorce from bed and board is also one of the few “fault-based” claims in North Carolina. As a fault-based claim, one party has to prove he or she is entitled to a divorce from bed and board because the other party acted so badly. There are various types of behaviors that will entitle a party to a divorce from bed and board, including: being abandoned by the other spouse, being kicked out of the marital home in a “malicious” way, being subjected to life-threatening treatment by the at-fault spouse, being subjected to “indignities” that make life intolerable, excessive alcohol or drug use that makes life intolerable, or adultery.

These claims tend to be very contentious because of their fault-based nature and they are only needed in very limited circumstances.

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