What is Divorce from Bed and Board?
In general, absent the existence of a Domestic Violence Protective Order, neither spouse must leave the marital residence when the other spouse decides they want to separate. This creates a difficult situation for the spouse that is ready and anxious to be separated, but has nowhere to go due to dependency on the earnings of the other spouse or their desire to stay in the residence with the minor children. In these cases a spouse can file a lawsuit requesting a “divorce from bed and board” to attempt to obtain an order from the court requiring their spouse to leave the residence. The court must essentially be persuaded that one spouse’s conduct is so intolerable that it warrants a judge forcing that spouse to move out of the home. Grounds for a request may include treatment of the other spouse in a cruel and barbarous manner which renders his/her condition intolerable and life burdensome, abuse of drugs or alcohol, or adultery. If the court finds a spouse has committed one of these grounds, the offending spouse may be ordered to leave the marital residence.
Although this sounds like a useful law, the reality is bed and board claims are often asserted but rarely pursued. Unlike most family law claims, either party can request a jury trial to determine if either or both spouses have committed grounds for divorce from bed and board. It can be months before a jury trial can be scheduled and the cost of preparation for a jury trial is often prohibitive.
Talk to Us Today
At Clemmons Family Law, we understand the challenges presented by divorce from bed and board claims but are prepared to both file and defend such claims in appropriate cases. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call us by phone at 336-766-2222 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.