Divorce from Bed and Board

In addition to Absolute Divorce, there is another type of “divorce” action in North Carolina called a Divorce from Bed and Board, however this term is a bit misleading since it is not truly a divorce but rather the equivalent of a legal separation. A legal separation does not break the bonds of matrimony between the spouses, and the parties may not remarry during this time, however a Divorce from Bed and Board may entitle a spouse to obtain post-separation support, alimony, property division, child custody, and/or child support.

Unlike an Absolute divorce, a Divorce from Bed and Board is fault-based, meaning that the injured party must establish grounds for the legal separation. Some examples of fault-based grounds for a Divorce from Bed and Board are abandonment, cruel or barbarous treatment, adultery, and excessive use of alcohol or drugs so as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and the life of that spouse burdensome.

In addition, there is no requirement that a spouse move out of the marital home in order to institute an action for Divorce from Bed and Board.