Only void and voidable marriages may be annulled in North Carolina.
A voidable marriage is valid until successfully attacked by one of the spouses during their lifetime. A marriage may be voidable that:
- Parties are nearer of kin 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
- Either party was incompetent at the time of marriage
A void marriage is one that is void ab initio, void from its very beginning. In North Carolina, a bigamous marriage is a void marriage. Even though it is a legal nullity, it is necessary to bring a lawsuit to delcare the marriage void and correct North Carolina vital records.
Annulment law in North Carolina is a complex area that is not often litigated. Rice Law has successfully prosecuted annulments for our clients and dealt with the issue of bigamous marriages. We have been successful, at least in one case, in obtaining a money judgment for the fraud associated with the bigamous marriage. In North Carolina, a spouse may receive post separation support in an action for annulment. However, equitable distribution of the parties’ property and permanent alimony are not remedies that are available in an annulment action.