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Raleigh Permanent Legal Separation Lawyers

The decision to permanently separate from your spouse is a difficult one but is often a necessary step toward a happier future.. In North Carolina, the action to move for permanent separation is referred to as a “divorce from bed and board.” While people decide to end their marital relationships for a number of reasons, in a situation where one spouse files for divorce from bed and board, it usually means there has been some wrongdoing by the other spouse. Deciding to file for divorce from bed and board can be challenging, both emotionally and financially.

Over the years we have assisted countless people with bringing their marriage to an end. The decision to separate from your spouse can be filled with difficult choices. Making the right decisions can impact your life in a variety of ways beyond the initial separation. For example, separating can impact your parental rights, your financial rights, how you file your taxes, and what benefits you are entitled to, among other things. Knowing how to navigate the process of separation and how it will affect your life can be challenging and can add extra stress during an already difficult time. Do not go through this transition alone. Get the help of caring and experienced lawyers who have the legal knowledge to make this process go as smoothly as possible.

The dedicated Raleigh permanent legal separation attorneys at Marshall & Taylor PLLC have extensive experience helping people end their marriage. We are compassionate and understand that filing for a divorce from bed and board means that you are likely already experiencing great distress. Call Marshall & Taylor PLLC today at 919-833-1040 to speak with a knowledgeable and compassionate lawyer.

Divorce From Bed and Board (Permanent Legal Separation)

People decide to separate from their spouses for a variety of reasons. In North Carolina, spouses may choose to separate and later reconcile legally, or they may become legally separated to later get a divorce. In the case of a divorce from bed and board, at least one spouse has determined that there is no possibility for a reconciliation with their spouse. Commonly, a divorce from bed and board is a precursor to a divorce, and it may be requested by one spouse to gain some procedural advantages, like a fault determination. Also, importantly, it may allow an abused spouse to get some personal relief from a dangerous living situation.

The main difference between a divorce and a divorce from bed and board is the determination of fault. North Carolina is a no-fault state for divorce. This means that either spouse may file for a divorce for any reason, and a court will not take fault into account when making certain decisions, such as dividing assets, determining custody rights, and determining support. Whereas in a proceeding for a divorce from bed and board, one spouse (the plaintiff spouse) is seeking from the court a determination of fault on the part of the defendant spouse for behaving in a way to cause the divorce. North Carolina statute §50-7 states that:

“The court may grant divorces from bed and board on application of the party injured, made as by law provided, in the following cases if either party:

(1) Abandons his or her family.

(2) Maliciously turns the other out of doors.

(3) By cruel or barbarous treatment endangers the life of the other. In addition, the court may grant the victim of such treatment the remedies available under G.S. 50B-1, et seq.

(4) Offers such indignities to the person of the other as to render his or her condition intolerable and life burdensome.

(5) Becomes an excessive user of alcohol or drugs so as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and the life of that spouse burdensome.

(6) Commits adultery.”

The determination of fault is important because it can later be used in a divorce proceeding as evidence of wrongdoing, and it can impact such things as child custody rights, property division, and spousal support, among other things. One spouse usually files paperwork with the court to get a divorce from bed and board so that the court can not only determine fault but also so the court will forcibly end cohabitation. This is so because a spouse seeking a divorce from bed and board may be in an abusive or arduous relationship where the other spouse refuses to leave the residence.

There are also some key procedural differences between a divorce and a divorce from bed and board. In North Carolina, separation for at least a year is a prerequisite to divorce, as is the intention of at least one spouse not to reconcile. On the contrary, there is no such separation requirement for a divorce from bed and board. The spouse seeking a divorce from bed and board does not have to be living separately from their spouse, nor do they have to show intention. Notably, divorce from bed and board does not end the marriage. Thus, getting remarried is not an option until an actual divorce is granted in another proceeding following the divorce from bed and board determination.

A divorce from bed and board may also change the spouse’s rights in some ways in regards to property rights. The date the decree from the court is entered is crucial because it can later be used in a divorce proceeding to determine separate versus community property. Also, on what date a decree is entered may impact inheritance rights and may alter financial support obligations.

Seeking a divorce from bed and board can be a complicated and lengthy legal process. The procedural aspects can have major consequences beyond the initial filing. If you are seeking a divorce from bed and board, you are undoubtedly and understandably burdened by a lot of stress. Do not go through this difficult period alone. Call the compassionate and experienced lawyers at Marshall & Taylor PLLC today.

Call the Raleigh Family Law Experts at Marshall & Taylor PLLC

Deciding to end your marriage is hard, even under the best of circumstances. If you are seeking a divorce from bed and board, you have been treated unfairly by your spouse. Get the help you deserve; call the knowledgeable and caring separation lawyers at Marshall & Taylor PLLC today at 919-833-1040.


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