Divorce from bed and board

A “regular divorce” or absolute divorce can only be filed after one year one day separation. This is the “final divorce”.

Divorce from Bed & Board is normally filed by the spouse that remains in the marital home. There are several reasons for filing this and it usually puts “fault” on the other spouse. I’ve never quite understood this since NC is a no fault state…
It is normally filed with ED, child custody, or alimony and is generally used as a formality. Normally it’s just stating that the spouses no longer have any financial or marital obligations to the other. The marital home is the property of one spouse and the other is no longer allowed without that spouse’s permission or invitation. It does not have to be filed. My husband’s attorney filed this along with the ED, custody and support agreement so that it would be “official” that his ex had left the marital home and that they were living separately. The Divorce from Bed & Board can be used to remove one spouse from the marital home but it does normally take a while to have this heard and it’s normally easier for one spouse to just leave. A separation agreement does not have to be “filed”. You do not have to have a separation agreement, but it does make things easier when it comes time to file for absolute divorce because with the agreement, normally, everything is already divided and settled when the required time is up.
You should at least consult an attorney and have an agreement drawn up if one of you have left the marital home.

In my case, I filed a divorce from bed and board in order to force my ex spouse out of the house. Otherwise, my situation was becoming intolerable. This is a FAULT based REASON to get one spouse out of the residence. True. NC is a “no fault” DIVORCE state, but it is NOT a NO FAULT REASON to get someone out of a house if the “guilty” party refuses to leave! It protects an innocent spouse from victimization and establishes separation! Based on evidence of fault, a judge HAD to order my ex spouse out of the house because the ex was NOT going to leave! Without a judicial order, my ex did not have to leave and no one can imagine how awful the situation was for me. I had no other recourse. So, thankfully, this was the ONE thing I got out of all this mess! And, my life.

A divorce from bed and board is a legal document that cuts of some but not all marital rights and obligations, most notably inheritance rights. You can execute a Separation Agreement at any time even if litigation is pending.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com for details

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

Sutton Station
5826 Fayetteville Rd. Suite 205
Durham, NC 27713
Phone: (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.


What’s the difference between a regular divorce AND a divorce from bed and board?

Where does one obtain the forms to process the divorce from bed and board?

Is this a final divorce like the divorce that one obtains when they have been separated for one year?

Can the separation agreement be filed as part of the divorce from bed and board?

Please help clear up these questions for me.