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North Carolina recognizes two types of divorce, Absolute Divorce or Divorce from Bed and Board. Absolute Divorce is also referred to as "simple divorce" or "no-fault divorce." In basic terms this type of divorce is the process where married people become unmarried; it is simply used to legally conclude a valid marriage. Divorce from Bed and Board is based from the state's history of "fault-based divorce." Currently, divorce from bed and board is a legal separation of the parties based on one party's fault. After one year has passed the parties can then petition the court for an absolute divorce.Absolute Divorce
In order to get a divorce parties must live separate and apart for one year with at least one party having the intent to end the marriage.
Grounds for an absolute divorce in cases of incurable insanity will be granted when parties have lived separate and apart for three consecutive years and are living separate and apart because of the incurable insanity of one of the parties. In addition, the insane spouse must be suffering from incurable insanity and has been confined or examined for three consecutive years prior to bringing the action in an institution for the care and treatment of the mentally disordered. If the insane spouse has not been confined in an institution for the three years prior to filing for divorce, the insane spouse must have been examined in the three years prior to filing for divorce and then found to be incurably insane. Proof of incurable insanity must be supported by the testimony of two reputable physicians. One of the two testifying physicians must be a staff member or the superintendent of the institution where the insane spouse is confined. The second testifying physician must be a regularly practicing physician in the community where the parties reside and have no affiliation or connection to the institution where the insane spouse is confined.Divorce from Bed and Board
The use of divorce from bed and board is less common and is used to achieve specific accomplishments, for example, to force one party out of the marital home or to allege marital misconduct. A party may obtain a divorce from bed and board based upon a showing of:
- Abandonment or turning the party out
- Cruel or barbarous treatment
- Offering indignities to render life intolerable
- Excessive use of alcohol or drugs or
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