What are the grounds for divorce in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the grounds for divorce are that the couple must have lived apart for one year and that one party must have resided in North Carolina for six months prior to the filing of the divorce petition. You can also apply for divorce on the basis of a spouse’s incurable insanity.

In a contested divorce, the spouse seeking to end the marriage may obtain a legal separation. Also known as a divorce from bed and board, a legal separation requires establishing the defending spouse committed at least one of six acts:

  • Abandoned the family
  • Threw the complaining spouse out of the home
  • Endangered the complaining spouse’s life 
  • Engaged in behavior that has made the spouse’s life “burdensome”
  • Regularly used alcohol or drugs excessively
  • Committed adultery.