What is an Annulment and how do I get one?
The Law:
In North Carolina the law allows for annulment only in very limited circumstances. North Carolina law only allows two types of marriages to be annulled: void and voidable marriages. A void marriage is a marriage that was never allowed in the beginning. A voidable marriage is one in which a judge can enter an order voiding the marriage. A voidable marriage is not automatically void. Many times instead of getting an annulment, people need to file for divorce.
Which Marriages are Void?
In N.C. only bigamous marriages are void. While, they are considered a legal nullity a lawsuit is still necessary to declare the marriage void and correct the vital records. You may be able to do this on your own but having an attorney would likely make the process much smoother and you can be assured that it will be done correctly.
Which Marriages are Voidable?
An annulment requires filing papers with the court and getting a District Court Judge to enter an Order annulling the marriage. Once the judge enters the order it is as if the marriage never existed.
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.
We realize everyone’s circumstances are different. If you have specific questions about your situation, schedule a consultation with the McIlveen Family Law Firm. We can help you understand your options and decide whether an annulment or divorce is the right course of action.