Legally speaking, marriage is a binding contract between two adults. There are laws that govern the legal implications, rights and responsibilities of each spouse as well as the couple jointly once the contract is sealed.
However, there are instances when a marriage can be declared void by the courts. This is known as annulment. The requirements for annulment vary from state to state. In this post, we will discuss how the matter is handled in North Carolina.
The first thing to be clear about is that an annulment is different from a divorce in very specific ways. The following post explains this:
Annulment in a Nutshell…
Requesting an annulment of your marriage means that you legally want, you and your spouse to have never been married. After the legal procedure, the court will establish that a marital status has never existed between you both. The marriage will be invalidated retroactively to the date of the inception of the marriage which differ from a divorce. Read more at Doyle Law Group…
As you see, an annulment asserts that a marriage never existed in the first place, while a divorce recognizes that there was a marriage but the two parties have now ended it. The implications of each action are different.
Annulments are not an easy escape that can be used to get out of a marriage. There are several things that must be proven before an annulment is granted. The following post explains the conditions that must be met for an annulment to be declared in North Carolina:
Grounds for Annulment in North Carolina
In North Carolina there are very few circumstances in which a marriage can be declared void. The length of time married is not a determining factor to request an annulment. One of the six following criteria must be proven in district court to have a marriage declared void:
- Marriage between any two persons nearer in relationship than first cousins. First cousins are the sons or daughters of a parent’s sibling.
- Marriage between double first cousins. Double first cousins occur when a set of brothers marries a set of sisters, or a brother and a sister marry another sister and brother, and they produce children. The children of these two marriages are double first cousins.
Marriage between a male person under 16 years of age and a female, with the exception of a court order as a result of a pregnancy when between the ages of 14 and 16. Read more at Haas Tharrington…
Wondering what the annulment process entails? The following post gives you an idea of what to expect in an annulment procedure:
The Annulment Process
In order to get an annulment, you must file a petition with your local district court. In your petition, you must provide grounds for the annulment or reasons that explain why the marriage should be terminated. From here, the court will evaluate your request to determine whether or not the marriage is void or voidable. Void marriages are invalid from the time they are finalized, whereas voidable marriages are initially legal, but contain elements that warrant nullification. If the court grants the annulment request, it will be as if the marriage never existed. Read more at Breeden Firm…
If you are seeking a marriage annulment and think you might have proper grounds, you cannot afford to mishandle the legal process, including your court filings. The best way to ensure that everything is done right is to work with an attorney throughout the annulment process.
Jonathan Meek of Meek Law Firm can expertly navigate family law and the complex issues of annulment with you. His experience in this area will make the process go as smoothly as possible. Contact him today to discuss your needs. Call (704) 848-6335 or use the contact form on the website to schedule a consultation appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.