How long will it take for me to get a divorce if there was domestic violence involved?

Question: How long will it take for me to get a divorce if there was domestic violence involved?

Answer:

An act of domestic violence will not have an effect on the length of time it will take to obtain an “Absolute Divorce”, however, you may be eligible for a “Divorce from Bed and Board”.

North Carolina recognizes what is called “Absolute Divorce” only after the parties have been separated for a year or more. No legal document is required, rather only the physical separation of the parties for a year can establish separation. One of the parties must have been living in North Carolina for 6 months prior to the filing of the action. This is the most common form of divorce.

However, North Carolina also recognizes “Divorce from Bed and Board”. A Divorce from Bed and Board suspends the effect of marriage but does not dissolve the marriage as an absolute divorce would do. A divorce from bed and board means that your spouse will not be entitled to the rights a spouse typically enjoys. To sue for divorce from bed and board you would need to establish one of the six grounds listed in North Carolina General Statute § 50-7. One of those grounds is cruel or barbarous treatment that endangers the life of the other. If your husband is cruelly or barbarously treating you, you may have grounds for divorce from bed and board. If a Judge grants you divorce from bed and board, you could be granted exclusive possession of the marital home as well.

You may also be eligible for a “50-B” restraining order which may help protect you from further acts of violence.

Please consult a qualified family law attorney that can help you with these issues.

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