8 Marriage Annulment in NC Grounds for Filing for Annulment

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By Divorce & Finance

Marriage annulment in NC is a specific process that ends your marriage, and annulment will work as proof that your marriage never existed.

Marriage annulment in nc

This article is a guide that gives you complete knowledge regarding the annulment process and its grounds in North Carolina, so read this until the end.

A List of the Grounds for Marriage Annulment in North Carolina

The grounds for marriage annulment in North Carolina include incest, underage participants, bigamy, impotence, and lack of consent, among others. Generally, North Carolina has seven grounds for annulment. To ask for an annulment, you must be eligible under one of these seven grounds.

  1. Incest

Laws in this respective According to state law, any union of two people who are more distantly related than first cousins is null and void.
Specific connections This encompasses relationships between:

  • Parents and children
  • Siblings
  • Double first cousins (the children produced by two marriages, both of which involve the same sets of grandparents; for example, if two sisters marry two brothers, their children could not marry each other).

Incest refers to relationships in which the husband and wife are more closely related than first cousins (for instance, double first cousins, uncle/niece, or siblings).

If you do not meet the requirements for an annulment, you may divorce in NC according to ordinary legal procedures. A lawsuit is the first step in the legal procedure known as an annulment. The party requesting the annulment must bring legal action to do so.

1. Minors or Underage

Minors or underage

Age-related laws
  • If you or your spouse were pregnant or had given birth between the ages of 14 and 16
  • If you are under 16 and are married without your parents/guardians knowing about and/or consenting to the union
Examples If A marries B when A was under 16, such marriage is annulled if not done by guardian approval.

In North Carolina, minors can only get married if their parents or guardians approve. But if you or your spouse get pregnant or give birth before turning 16, your marriage can only be dissolved if the child has already passed away when the annulment application is submitted.

2. The Marriage Was Bigamous

Conditions for annulment You can file for an annulment if your partner:

  • Cheated on you
  • Misused drugs or alcohol
  • Abandoned you
Felony charges In North Carolina, bigamy is a Class I felony that carries a minimum sentence of 3 to 12 months in jail.

The marriage is void if you get hitched when your legitimate spouse is still alive. Bigamy is not recognized in North Carolina since it is against the law to wed someone who is already married.

Technically, you do not require an annulment because the marriage is void (because the marriage is seen as never having existed in the first place). When it comes to claiming marital rights when none exist, this is extremely essential.

However, these elements are not accepted as grounds for annulment. Since there was never a valid marriage, the court does not take alimony or spousal support petitions into account when annulling a marriage.

3. Impotence

Who may request an annulment Both spouses’ impotence may likewise be a reason for the marriage to be dissolved. In order to ask the court for an annulment based on impotence, a doctor’s diagnosis is typically necessary.
  • If A marries B and A came to know after marriage that B is impotent and have substantial or medical tests to support it, then their marriage will be annulled.
  • If A assured B that they were not impotent but B found out that they lied, this is grounds for annulment.

You can dissolve a marriage if one person is incapable of having sex; however, this usually requires tests and that the impotency was previously recognized.

You must ensure that you satisfy one of the following requirements before thinking about annulling the marriage. If not, you might want to think about getting a divorce. The court will need proof from the spouse who filed the lawsuit that the union was null or voidable.

If the testimony satisfies the requirements, the judge will consider it and approve the North Carolina annulment forms. If an annulment is granted, the will come under void marriages.

4. Lack of Consent

Lack of consent

In-depth examination You can annul the union if you were:

  • Coerced into the marriage
  • Fooled into it
  • Did not have the mental capacity to make a decision
  • Didn’t want to get married
Example If X coerced Y into marrying them, then the marriage has to be annulled as soon as possible.

Marriage with a person who is unable to consent to marriage, typically due to a mental handicap or physical infirmity, is not permitted by law.

It is advised that you get an annulment within the North Carolina marriage annulment time frame because it could be difficult to obtain an annulment if you continue living with your husband afterwards.

5. Mental Illness

In-depth look The marriage may be dissolved if one spouse has a severe and incapacitating mental condition that was not disclosed to the other when the union was formed.
  • If A was mentally unstable at the time of marriage and this fact was hidden from B, then B may request for annulment of the marriage after getting to know of such hidden fact.
  • If A was mentally unstable at the time of marriage but the effects only manifested after marriage, it is still grounds for annulment.

The union may be void if one partner has a mental condition but failed to disclose it to the other before getting married.

6. Mistaken Belief of Pregnancy

Mistaken belief of pregnancy

Criteria for this ground The couple must divorce within 45 days and remain divorced continuously for a year. The marriage may be dissolved if no child is born to the couple within 10 months of their separation.
Exceptions Despite the foregoing, a marriage cannot be annulled after the passing of either party for any cause other than bigamy if:

  • It has been followed by cohabitation
  • It has been followed by the birth of children 

The union may be dissolved if the wife’s supposed pregnancy with her husband’s child was discovered to be false after the wedding had already taken place.

7. Miscellaneous Grounds

Voidable marriage A voidable marriage is legal in North Carolina if:

If those spouses later decide they want to divorce rather than get married again, they would petition for divorce. 

Religious annulment This choice is made by spouses who are part of a religion that does not permit divorce or separation.

The spouses may lose the right to have the marriage annulled even if it satisfies one of the requirements for voidable marriages. Remember that the answer to can you get an annulment without the other person knowing is a straight no.

You might wish to dissolve your marriage if you believe it was a mistake. You might be eligible to acquire an annulment rather than going through the divorce procedure. An annulment is a civil legal procedure that dissolves a marriage and renders the union invalid. This should be also consider in annulment in SC.

A religious annulment, which does not formally dissolve the marriage, is not the same as an annulment. There are several grounds for annulment requests as mentioned above, but there are only a select few for which an annulment may be granted.

Annulment vs divorce have quite different legal ramifications. The marriage is deemed illegitimate if the judge issues an annulment. The result is that the marriage was never consummated or existed legally.

Contrarily, a divorce ends a marriage but does not void it. Following divorce, the marriage continued to be recognized by the law during the time before the divorce was granted.

You should see a skilled North Carolina family law expert if you believe your situation would make you eligible for an annulment. Your attorney will get completely familiar with your case, walk you through the laws and courtroom procedures, and assist you in choosing the best course of action.


In North Carolina, annulment is only possible in extremely specific situations. An attorney must do a legal analysis to determine whether or not your petition for annulment meets state law requirements.

  • If their marriage is annulled, the parties involved can continue living their lives as if they had never been wed.
  • A religious annulment, which can only be given by your church and has no bearing on your marital status, is distinct from a legal annulment.
  • Bigamy is the only situation in North Carolina when a marriage is completely “void.”
  • The filing spouse has the duty of establishing to the judge that the marriage is either voidable or void, and annulment may be granted if either spouse was mentally or physically incompetent at the time of the marriage.

After reading this article, you now have a clearer understanding of annulment requirements or the answer to how soon can a marriage be annulled . Furthermore, an annulment is a complex claim to make, so you should hire legal counsel before submitting your petition.

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