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What constitutes marital misconduct in North Carolina?

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2022 | Family Law |

When your North Carolina marriage ends, it may be because your spouse messed around with someone outside of your marriage or otherwise broke your trust and marital agreement. Depending on the specifics of your situation, your ex may have committed something the state considers to be “marital misconduct.” If he or she did so, these actions have the potential to impact certain areas of your divorce, including your ability to secure spousal support, or alimony.

According to the North Carolina General Assembly, you may be able to argue that your former spouse was guilty of marital misconduct if he or she engaged in any of the following behaviors during your marriage or on your date of separation.

Examples of marital misconduct

Engaging in sexual acts with someone other than you typically constitutes marital misconduct in North Carolina. If your husband or wife abandoned you, kicked you out in a malicious manner or endangered your life as a result of “cruel or barbarous treatment,” he or she may also be guilty of marital misconduct. In some instances, spending recklessly or abusing drugs or alcohol to a certain degree may also fall under the “marital misconduct” umbrella.

Possible consequences of marital misconduct

If marital misconduct occurred during your marriage, it may impact spousal support arrangements. If you were the supporting spouse but your husband or wife committed marital misconduct, this may free you from having to pay him or her spousal support. The reverse also holds true. If you cheated or otherwise engaged in marital misconduct and would otherwise receive alimony, your actions may hinder your chances of getting it.

North Carolina courts may also weigh other factors, in addition to marital misconduct, when determining if you or your ex should get spousal support in your divorce.