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Proving fault for a divorce in North Carolina

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2018 | Uncategorized

Many marriages do not work out for one reason or another. Maybe both partners did not feel that magic spark they once had, or one spouse has romantic feelings for someone else. Some cannot explain why they no longer love their spouse and both parties just mutually agree to a settlement in a courtroom or with a mediator.

North Carolina is unique from most states when it comes to divorce. Like nearly one-third of the country, it is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning that the state doesn’t typically allow filing for a fault divorce. But there is another option. Before you begin that necessary one-year wait period prior to the final divorce, you could file for a divorce from bed and board. While it does not end your marriage, it does allow you to file a separation based upon fault grounds. Those with faulty marriages should know some of these grounds and the proof they require when they are considering their divorce options.


One spouse deciding to cheat on the other tends to be one of the most common forms of fault divorces. You may unfortunately catch them in the act or catch any sexually suggestive texts and emails. While the other spouse may admit to it and go through with the divorce, they might choose not to so they can avoid being the guilty party. This can be one of the more difficult grounds to prove. You should probably not try to obtain evidence on your own as you could add further tension to the relationship and potentially go against North Carolina’s privacy laws. Consider hiring a professional private investigator to uncover clues instead.


Desertion is not a frequent fault for divorces because no-fault divorces in North Carolina already require spouses to reside apart one year prior to the separation. It is slightly easier to prove than adultery though. You need to inform the court if your spouse left you for their own benefit and without your consent. You can potentially use both you and your spouse’s financial records to show that they abandoned you and the effect that the abandonment had on your finances and family life.

Spousal abuse

Unfortunately, many spouses continue to endure both physical and spousal abuse from their cruel partners. Providing evidence for the court can vary on the type of abuse you endured. If it was physical, you can provide medical records of the injury you received or the police reports if you called the officers during the assault. If it is emotional, you can provide emails or text messages from the other spouse that implies abusive behavior.

Drug abuse or alcoholism

Substance abuse can be a major issue that North Carolina courts will accept if it led to the victim’s life becoming intolerable and burdensome. Some of this ties within the spousal abuse proof in case your partner’s alcoholism or drug addiction resulted in physical or emotional damage. You can also provide medical records or a purchase history to demonstrate that they have a problem to the court and how it affected you financially.

Why go for a divorce from bed and board?

There are multiple factors that can determine how much alimony and child support one party will get from the divorce in North Carolina. Despite being a no-fault divorce state, a couple of these factors include some of the grounds for fault divorces such as marital misconduct. While you may not be legally divorced right away, you can earn coverage for the horrible actions your spouse committed against you. If your spouse hurt you and destroyed your relationship, you should seek legal counsel to explore your options and ensure that you start this new phase of your life on the right foot.