When you and your North Carolina husband or wife decide to end your marriage, you may do so for many different reasons. Yet, if your marriage ends because, say, your husband or wife stepped out on you and engaged in a sexual relationship with someone else, he or she may be guilty of what the state considers to be “marital misconduct.”
Per the North Carolina General Assembly, “marital misconduct” refers to a specific set of acts that take place during the marriage and before or on the date you and your spouse decided to separate.
What may constitute marital misconduct
If your spouse voluntarily engaged in sexual contact with someone else during the course of your marriage, this counts as marital misconduct. The same may hold true if he or she abandoned you or subjected you to what the state considers to be “cruel and barbarous treatment” that places your life in danger. In some instances, a spouse who spends recklessly or abuses drugs or alcohol may also be guilty of marital misconduct.
What marital misconduct impacts
Some people mistakenly believe that, if their spouse committed marital misconduct, they have a major leg up on them in terms of assets, child custody, alimony and so on. This is false. If your spouse commits marital misconduct, it often impacts spousal support obligations. However, it is unlikely to impact other aspects of your split.
If you allege that your former partner committed marital misconduct but he or she denies doing so, your ex has the option of asking for a jury trial.