I was recently asked if it is possible to get divorced at any time in North Carolina without going through the waiting period of one year in the event that you can prove that you are guilty. This is an excellent issue, as I’ll be honest, when I was first beginning to study to sit for the NC bar the question was a real niggle for me too (and I’ve been an attorney from 2004).

The question here concerns whether NC divorces of bed and board can be the same thing as divorce. However, a divorce from bed and board isn’t the equivalent to an uncontested divorce and this is where the confusion gets started. You can obtain an “divorce from bed and board” in NC prior to the time that the one year waiting period ends however legally, you’re still legally married. Bed and Board divorce is just an official separation. Confused? I was, too. Here’s what happens…

If there’s a problem for abandonment, being removed of the home due to your husband, abuse of spousal relations or indignities that cause it to be unsettling to be alongside your significant other, frequent alcohol or drug abuse or an affair, then you’ve got reasons to file for divorce from your bed and board. If you are able to prove that you have one of these grounds of negligence, then the judge will grant you a legally valid separation, which will begin the mandatory waiting period prior to when you can seek the “absolute divorce”.

The final word is that, even the moment you’ve received an end to your the bed and breakfast, you will wait a year to apply for an uncontested divorce.