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Annulments and Void Marriages in North Carolina

In Relationships, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

You’ve seen it in movies for years: people go to Las Vegas for a weekend of fun, get intoxicated, and wake up to find they got married to a complete stranger! Luckily, there is always a narrative device that allows the protagonist a way out of this messy situation: an annulment. This has created a widely-held misconception that annulments are a convenient way for anyone to get out of a short marriage. Unfortunately, life isn’t like the movies, and people are in for a rude awakening if they are relying on an annulment. Annulments are Not Common An annulment is an order from a court that voids a marriage—as if the marriage never existed. Annulments are not common at all. In fact, annulments are not magic erasers that are available …

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Why Annulments are Rare

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

When most of us think “annulment”, we think of ill-advised and impulsive Las Vegas weddings. Or maybe we think of quick celebrity marriages, like when Renee Zellweger and Kenney Chesney got married, then annulled their marriage a few months later. Essentially, there is a common belief that annulments are a quick way of ending a short marriage; or, that an annulment is not the same thing as a divorce, creating less of a stigma and making them more desirable than divorce. It may surprise you that annulments are incredibly rare, especially in North Carolina, where there are very limited circumstances in which one can be obtained. Grounds for Annulment The North Carolina legislature has set forth the limited circumstances in which a couple’s marriage may be “void” or “voidable”. The …