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Can you divorce your spouse for adultery in North Carolina?

On Behalf of | May 25, 2022 | Divorce |

Adultery is one of the more common reasons that people file for divorce. If your spouse violates their vow to remain faithful, you may no longer want to share your life or your bed with them.

In some states, people can file for divorce using adultery as the grounds for the divorce, which effectively makes it official that their spouse is the one to blame for the divorce. Unfortunately, North Carolina does not allow for an infidelity-based divorce filing.

How can you free yourself from a cheating spouse under North Carolina law?

Initiate a legal separation

The closest thing to a no-fault divorce offered in North Carolina is a divorce granted because of a lengthy separation. If you want to get a divorce, you need to arrange to live separately from your spouse for at least one year, at which point you will be legally able to file for divorce.

You will not need to prove the infidelity to end your marriage. Instead, you will simply need to prove that you meet both the residency and separation requirements included in North Carolina law.

Can you hold your ex accountable for cheating?

If you can’t divorce your spouse and secure a ruling that their cheating is why the marriage ended, you could still pursue justice financially. The courts will consider marital misconduct when they decide whether or not to award alimony.

If you can show that your ex used your shared assets or their income during the marriage to conduct the affair, the judge may use that information when they divide your property. You could also even file a lawsuit against the third party who involved themselves in your marriage. North Carolina has a relatively unique law permitting a spouse affected by adultery to sue the other person in addition to holding their spouse accountable.

If you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement with your spouse, the terms you set in that contract could also influence your divorce. Those who included penalty clauses in such contracts may need evidence of infidelity if they want the compensation promised to them previously.

For many people, just ending the marriage and moving on is a better approach than fighting over a few hundred dollars in credit card debt just to hold their ex accountable. Learning more about the divorce laws in North Carolina will help you fight back when your ex violates their marital vows to you and your trust in them.