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While North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, the absence of sex in a marriage can be important for establishing fault in other circumstances, such as awarding post-separation support, awarding alimony, and obtaining a divorce from bed and board.
Even if you decide to pursue a no-fault divorcethe decision by one spouse to intentionally refrain from sexual relations can be grounds for establishing fault for other issues that arise in divorce, such as alimony or spousal support. A divorce from bed and board may be granted by a family court in North Carolina when one spouse establishes the existence of one or more grounds for divorce under North Carolina law.
Since north carolina is a no-fault divorce state, why would fault matter?
However, despite its name, a divorce from bed and board is not a divorce. Instead, it is considered a form of legal separation.
Although a spouse seeking a divorce from bed and board must show one of the legal grounds of fault for divorce, he or she does not need to observe the one-year waiting period for a typical absolute divorce. The grounds for fault in divorce in North Carolina include:.
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In a divorce from bed and board, the court may order one spouse to move out of the marital home. Although a sexless marriage is not listed in the law as a ground of fault for absolute divorce or divorce from bed and board, it can be strong evidence for a court to find constructive abandonment.
Constructive abandonment differs from actual abandonment in that the spouse who has committed abandonment need not actually have physically left the marital home. A court may find that a spouse has committed constructive abandonment of the marriage when he or she has failed to fulfill the obligations of marriage and has become emotionally and mentally absent from the marriage.
Withholding of affection, love, or sexual relations can all be evidence of constructive abandonment. Proving that a sexless marriage constitutes constructive abandonment can be an incredibly difficult task.
Modern society recognizes that no one is entitled to sex, nor can a person force his or her spouse into sexual relations. However, when a spouse refuses intimacy, it can rise to the level of constructive abandonment if that refusal is found to be both willful and beyond the bounds of a normal marriage.
In order to prove willfulness, you will need evidence to show that your spouse knew that the lack of sex in your marriage was a problem for you. At a minimum, you will need to have brought up and tried to discuss the issue with your spouse. However, if your spouse refuses to discuss the issue with you, to work on the issue together such as through marriage counselingand continues to reject any intimate advances, the withholding of sexual relations might be deemed to be willful.
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Evidence that your spouse is withholding sexual relations out of spite can also establish willfulness. Establishing that the refusal of sex is beyond the bounds of Sexless marriage divorce grounds normal marriage can also be a complex matter. Periods of celibacy are common in all marriages, and a lack of sexual desire can be indicative of other emotional, financial, or personal problems in the marriage. Getting the court to find constructive abandonment based solely on a sexless marriage is a tall order.
You can strengthen your case by presenting other evidence of constructive abandonment, such as adultery, substance abuse, emotional or physical abuse, or lack of concern for family well-being. As a no-fault divorce state, North Carolina does not require a spouse to prove fault in order to file for divorce.
1) making excuses
All that is required for a no-fault divorce is that the spouses live separately from one another. However, the traditional fault grounds for divorce, such as adultery, abandonment, indignities, cruel treatment, or excessive alcohol and drug use, can still be relevant in a no-fault divorce.
In particular, establishing grounds for fault can affect the issues that must be resolved in a no-fault divorce, such as alimony, child custody, and child support. Our attorneys can help you by:.
2) not making an effort
Our team will discuss the details of your case and explain more about your legal rights and options for obtaining a separation from a sexless marriage. Strategic Representation. Sexless Marriage. All Rights Reserved. Site by Consultwebs.