For those looking to end a marriage, filing for divorce is the most common option; however, it is not the only option. Individuals who successfully obtain an annulment will not only end their marriage but will also make it as though the marriage never took place. However, North Carolina annulments are only permitted in very specific circumstances, so it is important to consult with a Charlotte family law attorney before filing. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our annulment lawyers have a broad understanding of the state’s annulment laws and know what it takes to get our clients’ marriages annulled. Feel free to give us a call to schedule a free consultation at 704-405-2580.Why Seek an Annulment Instead of a Divorce?
There could be many reasons someone would prefer to file for annulment over divorce. For example, once you establish that a marriage is invalid, obtaining an annulment is typically much faster than getting divorced. Additionally, there is no “waiting requirement” to file for an annulment.
Another reason to pursue an annulment is that when a court enters an order of annulment, it invalidates any prenuptial agreements.What Are the Grounds for Annulment in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, only marriages that were invalid at their inception can be annulled. And under state law, there are two ways that a marriage can be invalid: void marriages and voidable marriages.What Makes a North Carolina Marriage Void?
In North Carolina, only bigamous marriages are considered void. Thus, a void marriage is one in which either spouse was already married at the time they entered a second marriage. If a marriage is void, spouses do not technically need a court order to invalidate the marriage, although doing so is probably a good idea.What Makes a Marriage Voidable?
Voidable marriages cover many more situations than void marriages. A marriage is voidable in any of the following circumstances:
- Incest, which is defined as a marriage in which the husband and wife are closer than first cousins;
- Impotence that has been medically diagnosed;
- Either spouse was “not of sound mind” at the time of the marriage;
- One of the spouses was under 16 unless the wife was pregnant and the couple obtained a court order to proceed with the marriage; and
- The couple was married under the mistaken belief that the wife was pregnant.
Importantly, in a voidable marriage, the marriage can be rendered a legal marriage by the spouses’ actions. For example, if the couple continues to live together after learning of the fact that made the marriage voidable, a court could find that the marriage became ratified. In this case, either spouse would need to file for divorce.The Difference Between Annulment and Divorce
Divorce and annulment are two options to end a marriage. However, an annulment goes further than a divorce because once a marriage is annulled, it is as though it never existed. That said, any children born in an annulled marriage are considered born to a married couple, and the court will need to resolve child custody and child support issues. And, while post-separation support is available at the court’s discretion, alimony is not available in an annulled marriage. Finally, the court will not equitably distribute the couple’s property upon entering an order of annulment.Are You Seeking a North Carolina Annulment?
If you were recently married and came upon information that you think may qualify you for an annulment, reach out to the dedicated Charlotte annulment lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our dedicated team of family law and divorce lawyers have decades of experience helping clients navigate the annulment process. We can advise you on whether you qualify and efficiently present your case to the court in hopes of a speedy resolution. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Charlotte divorce lawyer, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach one of our Concord family law attorneys at 704-918-4747. We represent clients in Mecklenburg, Gaston, Cabarrus, Iredell, Rowan, and Union Counties.