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NC: Annulment or Divorce?

Marriages in North Carolina can end in one of three ways: annulment, divorce, or death. If a marriage is “annulled” its treated as though it never legally happened, but North Carolina only permits annulments in limited circumstances. If one spouse is already legally married at the time he or she “marries” a third person, (called “bigamy”) such marriage is “void” or “annulled” without having to take any legal action.

Apart from bigamy, a marriage in North Carolina can only be annulled in the following scenarios: a marriage between people more closely related than third cousins; if one spouse was under the age of 16 at the time of the marriage; a marriage where either spouse is physically impotent and did not inform the other spouse prior to marriage; and a marriage where one spouse lacked “capacity” (mental competency) to enter the marriage due to a mental condition.

Apart from those limited grounds for annulment, marriage in North Carolina can only be ended by divorce or upon the death of one spouse. North Carolina requires spouses to be legally and physically separated for one year and one day before a person can petition the Court for a divorce.

If you want more information on your options, “just in case best practices” or are ready to take the next steps, give our team of dedicated family law attorneys at Apple Payne Law in Kernersville a call today.

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900 Old Winston Rd.
STE 212
Kernersville NC 27284

190 Charlois Blvd.
Suite 200
Winston-Salem NC 27103