The family law in North Carolina only allows annulment in very limited circumstances, and only allows two types of marriages for annulment:
1. Void marriage – a marriage that was never allowed in the beginning
2. Voidable marriage – a marriage in which a judge may enter an order for the marriage to become void. This type of marriage isn’t automatically void, and people commonly file for divorce to end this type of marriage instead of filing an annulment.
Which Marriages are Void?
In North Carolina, bigamous marriages are the only marriages considered by the law as void but still require a lawsuit to be declared void. Seeking legal nullity of your marriage can be done on your own but the process can be much smoother if you hire an experienced NC divorce attorney who will help you get things done properly.
Which Marriages are Voidable?
A marriage may be voidable where:
- Parties are nearer in relationship than first cousins
- Either party is under the age of sixteen (16)
- The marriage was entered under the representation and belief that the female is pregnant, the parties separate within 45 days of marriage and no child is born to the parties within 10 lunar months of the date of separation
- Either party is physically impotent (must be confirmed by doctor)
- Either party was incapable of contracting to marry because of incompetence at the time of marriage.
For a voidable marriage to be annulled, it’s necessary to file papers with the court and get a District Court Judge enter an Order annulling the marriage which will make the marriage seem to be non-existent.
At McIlveen Family Law Firm, we realize the uniqueness of everyone’s circumstances. For specific questions about your situation, you may schedule a consultation with us so we can help you understand your options. You can then make an informed decision on whether annulment or divorce is right course of action for you to take.