Divorce (Immediate)

I know in the state of NC I have to be separated for a year…but is there any way around that? I’m currently being emotionally abused to the point where its becoming hard to function and I believe he’s cheating. We have 2 kids together but don’t own any property.

thank you!

**** Not a Lawyer!!!
You cannot get a divorce without the year wait, but you can get a divorce from bed and board which is like a divorce to all practical purposes except you cannot remarry. After one year of separation, you can file for absolute divorce. For the emotional abuse you have fast options like requesting a restraining order.

Unfortunately there is no way around the one year waiting period. NC is a no fault divorce state and the only basis for divorce (aside from the rarely used divorce based on insanity) is a divorce based on one year’s separation.

Ms. Clarey,
Are you saying that the unofficial opinion expressed by “beenhit” is not possible - Divorce of Bed & Board? I was hoping I could get that type of interim divorce so it feels more final, I guess, than separation - so he realizes that I’m really DONE, even if we have to wait until the year is up. If I file for Legal Separation then must I file again for Absolute Divorce AND wait another 30 days, even if NOT contested?

Divorce from bed and board is not an actual divorce (absolute divorce) and it does not dissolve the marriage. Divorce from bed and board requires fault grounds and is essentially a legal separation.

However, legal separation is not otherwise recognized in NC. You do not have to pursue a divorce from bed and board in order to separate or to be divorced in an absolute divorce proceeding.

There is no ability for an interim divorce in NC. If you want to show your spouse that you definitely do not want to be in the marriage anymore, you can file a court action against him for equitable distribution, alimony, or other claims that you are seeking (assuming you are already separated), or you can send him a proposed separation agreement.

Once you have been separated for one year, among other requirements, you can file for an absolute divorce. Once your spouse is served, you must wait 30-33 days depending on the method of service before you calendar the divorce for a court date.

For more detailed information on divorce from bed and board, check out our article What is a Divorce From Bed and Board?

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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