Written by Jonathan Breeden
You may want your husband removed from your marital home when your marriage ends. However, your divorce might end up taking longer than you’d like. Fortunately, you can move forward with your life now by pursuing a divorce from bed and board.
Two primary types of divorce may be available in North Carolina. These include absolute divorce and divorce from bed and board.
Absolute divorce is based on the destruction of your marriage, whereas divorce from bed and board suspends the rights and responsibilities of the marriage as opposed to it being a destroyed one. If you seek a divorce from bed and board, you will not be eligible to remarry or be considered single.
Before you can get a divorce from bed and board, you must meet the necessary criteria. In divorce from bed and board, one spouse who has been mistreated by the other must file the divorce from bed and board action in North Carolina family court.
This is a fault-based order alleging that one spouse has injured the other under specific grounds. According to North Carolina General Statute § 50.7, these grounds include:
Suppose you are seeking divorce on fault-based grounds in an absolute divorce. In that case, the misconduct must have occurred within the last six months. However, there are no such requirements when seeking a divorce from bed and board.
According to the North Carolina courts, you must wait one year before filing a petition for an absolute divorce after you have been separated from your spouse by a divorce from bed and board order.
During this period of separation, you can work with your spouse to come to an agreement regarding the division of your marital property and assets, child support and custody, and other marital matters.
In many divorce from bed and board cases, one spouse has been emotionally or physically abused by another. If this happens to you, once you have obtained your divorce from bed and board order, your next steps could include claiming domestic violence.
In this case, you may want to petition the court for a temporary restraining order. This restraining order can detail child support and custody stipulations, spousal support, and how property will be divided.
It is ultimately up to the court to determine whether the protective order should become permanent. If the protective order is introduced as evidence to obtain a divorce from bed and board, the judge can decide based on this evidence.
However, in divorce court, the judge will be required to follow the facts of the protective order. For example, if the protective order finds one parent to be a danger to their child, the court will consider that parent to be a danger to their child.
You also could seek equitable distribution. When you divorce, North Carolina law states that your marital property should be divided fairly. That does not mean that your assets and debts will be divided equally but equitably. Within your request for equitable distribution, you can also include your request for an absolute divorce, alimony, child support, and child custody rights.
However, keep in mind that marital misconduct is not considered when dividing your marital property and assets unless there was financial misconduct after you become legally separated.
The judge will consider many factors when determining how your marital property and assets should be divided. Some of these factors could include:
If you are interested in pursuing a divorce from bed and board, but you do not know where to get started, our team of North Carolina divorce lawyers at Breeden Law Office are here to help.
Learn more about how the divorce from bed and board process works and how to protect yourself when you contact us for a confidential case evaluation. Complete our quick contact form or call us at (919) 661-4970 to get started.