Defense Against a Bed and Board Claim
There are two types of divorce options that someone may choose if they want to separate from their spouse. The first type is absolute divorce where the marriage is completely dissolved while the second type is called divorce from bed and board which does not dissolve the marital contract between the husband and the wife.
In our jurisdiction, there are two types of divorce that may be availed of by a spouse who wants to separate with the other party. The first type is absolute divorce where the marriage is completely dissolved upon the final adjudication of the case by the judge of a court with proper jurisdiction to hear and decide on the merits of the divorce case.
The second type is called divorce from bed and board which does not dissolve the marital contract between the husband and the wife. It is only a legal separation which can be obtained by an injured party. There are requirements under the law that must be complied with before a wife or husband may file the second kind of divorce.
Divorce by bed and board can only be raised by a party upon showing that any of the following grounds exist:
There was an abandonment of the family by the offending spouse.
The other party has maliciously turned the wife or husband out of doors.
The other spouse has treated the complaining spouse in such a cruel or barbarous way to the point that it endangers the latter's life.
There are indignities that render the complaining spouse's condition intolerable or life overly burdensome.
The offending spouse has an excessive drug or alcohol use that makes the injured party's condition intolerable or life overly burdensome.
The other partner is guilty of the crime of adultery.
All these grounds can be invoked at any time. The party raising them in a case has the duty to discharge the burden of proof.
If you are the party against whom the complaint for divorce by bed and board has been filed, the first step that needs to be done is to hire the services of a divorce lawyer. A good lawyer can help you depend a claim for legal separation. This can only be done if you know how to cooperate well with your lawyer. Hence, it is your duty to make sure that you have laid all your cards on the table with the attorney who will be your defender during the judicial proceedings. At the same time, you have to gather all the needed testimonial, documentary and object evidence that will convince the court that none of the above-mentioned grounds exist. You can also show to the judge hearing the case that the claims of the other party are bereft of merits.
References: What is a Divorce From Bed & Board?
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