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How do I Know if I Qualify for an Annulment?

In North Carolina there are only a few situations where the court would grant an annulment. There is only one type case in particular where a marriage is void by operation of law at the outset and that is in a bigamous marriage when a person who is already married enters a marriage with someone else. A bigamous marriage does not need to be annulled, but can be to avoid future problems. There are five other situations that can qualify for an annulment and are not void by operation of law at the outset like a bigamous marriage, but are voidable. Voidable means the marriage is valid even though there is an issue that could render the marriage invalid if one of parties attacks the substantiality of the marriage during their lifetime. These five situations are:

  • If either party is physically impotent at the time of the marriage.
  • If either party is under 16-years-old.
  • If either party is “incapable of contracting from want of will or understanding”.
  • The parties are nearer of kin than first cousins.
  • Marriage was entered into because the female represented that she was pregnant, within 45 days of the marriage the parties separate, the separation is continuous for one year, and no child is born within 10 months of the date of separation.

In annulment cases if certain conditions are fulfilled there can be claims for post separation support and attorney’s fees. However, if the marriage is annulled the parties cannot claim alimony or equitable distribution.