A legal Annulment in North Carolina is a judicial declaration that a marriage never existed. Annulments are very rare, but when an annulment is involved, there is no marital property or alimony to be determined. There are very limited circumstances where a Court will determine that an annulment is recognized. A few examples that may allow a Court to determine an annulment are:
Bigamy– This is the main reason that North Carolina considers a marriage to be void. Bigamy occurs when one party is already married to someone else when he or she attempts to get married.
Incestuous marriage– This is another reason that a marriage can be considered void as the laws in North Carolina do not allow marriage between close family members.
Impotence– Impotence can be grounds for an annulment where one party is physically incapable of having sexual relations. This must be proven and unable to be cured for a Court to consider impotence.
Duress– Duress is a hard burden to prove to a Court once a couple has gone through with a marriage. However, if there can be acts of violence or threats involved in forcing one party to consent to the marriage, this can be considered grounds for an annulment.
Disease– This is usually limited to a venereal disease.
Underage Partner– In some jurisdictions, having an underage partner would be considered a void marriage.
Mental Incapacity– A Court would have to see proof of insanity or mental weakness that would cause someone the inability to enter into a contract for this to be considered grounds for an annulment.
Fraud– When it comes to an annulment, fraud in itself is not enough to meet the burden. This usually will surround a misrepresentation of a women concealing a pregnancy by another man, that the husband is the father of an unborn child, or a false assertion of pregnancy.
Limited-purpose marriage– An example of a marriage for a limited purpose is when a marriage is simply had to obtain citizenship rights or a VISA.
Denial of Conjugal Rights– Denial of conjugal rights occurs when either spouse without any reasonable cause withdraws from sexual relations during marriage. This act on its own isn’t sufficient grounds for an annulment; however, if it occurs with any other listed grounds for annulment, it may be enough for the Court to grant an annulment.
Refusal to have children– This pertains to any couple who entered a marriage intending to have children, but then one party changes his or her mind after getting married. This act on its own isn’t sufficient grounds for an annulment; however, if it occurs with any other listed grounds for annulment, it may be enough for the Court to grant an annulment.
For many people, an annulment can seem more attractive than a divorce. However, they can be more expensive and can take longer to obtain than a divorce Judgment. If you or someone you know may have a situation where any of the above-mentioned situations are involved, contact Hatcher Law Group for a consultation with an experienced family law attorney to understanding your rights and options moving forward.