There are two ways to defend against a claim for divorce from bed and board. First, you can offer evidence to dispute the allegations. Second, you can raise one of the four following defenses:
3. Condonation, or
Let’s take a closer look at each.
Collusion is rarely used as a defense in North Carolina because modern procedures for absolute divorce, alimony, child custody, child support, and equitable distribution may be initiated without a court-ordered divorce from bed and board, hence there is no need for the parties to collude a fake scenario.
Connivance occurs when one spouse intentionally provokes the other spouse’s misconduct that gives rise to the ground for divorce from bed and board. To prevail in a claim for divorce from bed and board, the complaining spouse cannot cause, provoke, or encourage the other spouse’s misconduct.
Condonation occurs when one spouse forgives the other spouse’s marital misconduct. For this defense to work, the accused spouse must prove that the other spouse actually knew of the marital misconduct – not merely suspected – and still offered forgiveness.
Recrimination is the final defense available against a claim for divorce from bed and board. For this defense to work, the accused spouse must prove that the complaining spouse is also guilty of any one of the six grounds for divorce from bed and board.