In 2014 Matt Shaer wrote an infamous article in GQ magazine about a controversial rabbi who attempted to coerce Orthodox men into giving their wives religious divorces through questionable means. These means included kidnapping, beating, and torture. He also charged the women attempting to obtain these divorces a fee of up to $60,000. That rabbi is now serving a 10-year jail sentence. However, the coverage of that case brought to light a world that most Americans are unfamiliar with — the world of religious divorce.
Religious Divorce in North Carolina
Obtaining a religious recognition of a divorce can be more difficult than acquiring a legal divorce, depending on your religious tradition. In Jewish tradition, the husband must be willing to present the wife with a get for religious recognition of the split. A get is a document in Jewish religious law that effectuates divorce. It returns to the wife the legal rights that her husband held over her because of their marriage.
As you can imagine, getting a get is a lot simpler if your husband wants a divorce, but the process leaves the wife's wishes and desires out in the cold. If a husband refuses to present his wife with a get, she cannot remarry under Jewish law. She also will be unable to leave even if she is a victim of neglect or abuse.
Legal Divorce in North Carolina
Though the waiting period to get a divorce in North Carolina is rather long, the legal requirements are straightforward. There are only two grounds for an absolute or no-fault divorce in this state. You and your spouse must live separately and apart for at least one year, and one party has to live in North Carolina for six months before filing the divorce action. Alternatively, if the couple has been living separately for 3 years as a result of the incurable insanity of one partner, then the court may grant a no-fault divorce as well.
North Carolina also has something called a "divorce from bed and board," which is the state's unique take on a fault-based divorce. A "divorce from bed and board" actually is not a divorce. It's a way for a couple to obtain a legal separation, and it's available in the following situations:
- A spouse maliciously forces the other spouse to leave,
- One partner endangers the other partner's life through cruel treatment,
- One partner mistreats the other partner to the point that the other partner's life becomes intolerable;
- One partner suffers from excessive substance abuse,
- Abandonment, or
Getting An Attorney To Help
If you need help with your North Carolina divorce and securing religious recognition of that legal status, don't resort to hiring religious consultants who may use shady means to get it done. Instead, contact us.
The seasoned family law attorneys at the Caulder and Valentine law firm work hard to support our clients with the legal services they need to untangle any divorce issue, no matter how messy or complicated. Contact our offices today to schedule a private consultation to discuss your case.