This may seem like an untimely post considering Valentine’s Day is coming up this weekend. However, for divorce lawyers, February is actually considered “divorce season.” Statistically, divorce rates increase nearly 40% around Valentine’s Day.
If you are considering divorce, it is important to understand all options available to you. There are two types of divorce in North Carolina: Absolute Divorce and Divorce from Bed and Board.
Absolute Divorce: Prior to filing for an absolute divorce, it is required that you and your spouse “live separate and apart” for at least 365 days. Legally, living separate and apart means that you and your spouse no longer live in the same residence, sleeping in separate bedrooms is insufficient. So what happens if you or your spouse moves out of the state during the 365-day separation period? No problem. It is only required that one party physically reside in North Carolina f
or at least six continuous months before the filing of the divorce. An absolute divorce eliminates the matrimonial bond between the parties; thus, once the absolute divorce is final both spouses are free to remarry as they please.
Divorce from Bed and Board: Unlike an absolute divorce, a divorce from bed and board requires fault. In other words, the party filing for divorce must show evidence that their spouse’s actions fell within one of the six statutory fault grounds: (1) abandonment of the family, (2) adultery, (3) cruel and barbarous treatment, (4) indignities, (5) drug and/or alcohol abuse, (6) or malicious turning of doors. It is not required that you and your spouse live separate and apart for any time prior to obtaining a divorce from bed and board. It is important to know that a divorce from bed and board does not eliminate the matrimonial bond between the parties, meaning that neither spouse will have the right to remarry.
Figuring out what type of divorce is best for you can be difficult. Don’t make the divorce process more stressful than it needs to be. Contact an attorney at Stiles Law to advise and guide you through the process.