Abuse and Fault

NC is a ‘no fault’ state, so trying to use fault in a divorce situation would not work. However, if you feel your life is in danger from this man, you can try to get a protective warrant from him using the emotional and physical abuse evidence. The online chats and messages show intent, but talk is very cheap online, and unless you have proof of adultry, you can’t really use that either. I would keep them for the future—just in case.


If a couple have been separated for over one year, divorce pending…would it be damaging to the divorce or violation of a separation if one is a member of an online dating service? I mean they are just looking and chatting.

Marital fault is generally applicable in cases where alimony is an issue. The things that you described could be considered fault for alimony cases. If you are fearful of this man you can seek a protective order which would require him to stay away from you. Your testimony would be evidence that these things had occurred.

Dating after separation and before divorce is something that should be looked at on a case by case basis given the circumstances of each case. If alimony is not an issue dating is generally not a problem, however sexual intercourse with another person is a crime until you are legally divorced. Before dating you should consult with your own legal counsel to ensure you would not be jeopardizing your legal position.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
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Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

I was just wondering if the following documentation I have would be considered fault. I have printed emails, and myspace communication with other women to and from my husband. More importantly though, I have documentation where he subscribed to an online dating service clearly stating that he wanted to meet other people. Also, he has been physically and emotionally abusive. Friends have witnessed the emotional abuse, but not the physical. I’ve never filed police reports against him. How would I prove this? Also, he’s in the Army (about to get out as soon as he returns from overseas), and I’m scared he’ll try to kill me. (He has threatened to do this if I ever left him), but again, I have no proof. Just my word against his. Any advice? Thanks so much for your time.