Do I need to prove that my spouse cheated on me to get an absolute divorce in North Carolina?

No, you don’t have to prove adultery to obtain an absolute divorce in North Carolina. We are considered a “no-fault” state. However, there are related matters where proof of adultery is could be important.

By “no-fault” state, we mean that you do not have to show marital fault to obtain the divorce in North Carolina. As long as you have lived separate and apart for one year, at least one of you has resided in the state for at least six months and you have completed all required paperwork, you can get a divorce. This type of divorce is called an absolute divorce.

However, to obtain a divorce from bed and board – some refer to this as “legal separation” – you do need to prove fault. Adultery is one possible ground. Other grounds include abandonment, cruel or barbarous treatment, indignities or alcohol or drug abuse. Although this type of divorce brings certain entitlements such as the right to receive spousal support, or alimony, you will not be entitled to remarry until you obtain an absolute divorce.

Additionally, marital misconduct such as adultery could be a factor in determining alimony.

You can learn more at our Separation and Alimony pages.

You can also read N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-7, which sets out the grounds for divorce from bed and board, and N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-16.2A, which explains “postseparation support.”


Charles Ullman & Associates provides you respected, experienced and knowledgeable divorce and family law attorneys. You can trust us to help you through the legal process efficiently and effectively so you can transition to the next phase of your life. Our community involvement reaches beyond charitable support of important causes. We launched our own movement in Fraternities4Family and provide scholarships to able students in need.