What is Divorce From Bed and Board?

In North Carolina, you have several options if you wish to end your marriage permanently or on a trial basis. One of those options is divorce from bed and board, which the North Carolina Judicial Branch explains is actually a form of separation. The name is a bit misleading as it suggests this is a form of divorce.

Separation is not a legal end to a marriage, but it does allow you to get an idea of what a divorce might be like. You can draw up a separation agreement, which is similar to a divorce agreement. You live apart. There is even the option for getting a child support order in place as well as a custody arrangement and spousal support, if needed. The main difference is that your marriage is still legal whereas in a divorce, your marriage legally ends.

Divorce from bed and board is just a complex way of saying that the court orders you and your spouse to go through a separation. It is only available if you can provide proof of a need for the separation. It must be a serious issue in your marriage, such as drug abuse. A divorce from bed and board can be the start of a true divorce. However, there is a waiting period of one year before you can file for a divorce.

Essentially, a divorce from bed and board is an involuntary separation on the part of one spouse. If you both agree on the separation, you would go through the steps required without a court order. However, if your spouse refuses a separation and you have serious grounds for a request, you can go to court for a DBB. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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Attorney Mike Lassiter grew up in Statesville, makes his living serving the people of Statesville and published a book capturing the changing landscape of small town life across North Carolina and Iredell County. His keen sense of history, dedication to the area and 30 years of legal experience make him an ideal attorney for your legal needs.

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