An annulment is an action that legally cancels a marriage.
Basically, following an annulment, it is as though the marriage never legally existed. Does my marriage qualify for an annulment? The first step when seeking an annulment is to find a qualified, experienced attorney to lead you through the process. In North Carolina, only two types of marriages qualify for an annulment: void and voidable marriages. A void marriage is a marriage that is unlawful or invalid in the jurisdiction it is entered.
In North Carolina, only bigamous marriages are considered to be void. A voidable marriage is a marriage that is not automatically void, but a judge can enter an order for it to become so. In North Carolina, a marriage is voidable if
- The two parties are closer in relationship than first cousins
- Either party is under the age of 16 at the time of marriage
- Either party is physically impotent
- Either party is incapable of contracting due to incapacity or lack of understanding
- It was entered under the representation and belief that the female is pregnant, the parties separate within 45 days of the marriage, and no child is born within 10 lunar months of the date of separation.
In either case, it is always advisable to contact a family law attorney about your best next step in the process of annulment.