In North Carolina, annulment is a highly unusual circumstance. In effect to annul a marriage means to void the marriage.
The North Carolina General Statutes set out specific circumstances when an annulment may be granted:
- Marriages of two persons nearer in kin than first cousins or double first cousins;
- Marriage between a male under 16 years of age and any female;
- Marriage between a female under 16 years of age and any male;
- Marriage between persons either of whom has a husband or wife living at the time of the marriage
- Marriage between persons either of whom is physically impotent
- Marriage between persons either of whom is incapable of contracting annilfrom want of will or understanding.
- As to what constitutes mental capacity or incapacity to enter into marriage, generally a person entering the marriage relation must have sufficient capacity to understand the nature of the contract and the duties and responsibilities which it creates, for the marriage to be valid. The general rule is that the test is the capacity of the person to understand the special nature of the contract of marriage, and the duties and responsibilities which accompany the status of marriage based on the facts and circumstances of each case.
Marriages will NOT be voided or annulled in the following circumstances:
- After the death of one of the parties in a marriage in which children were born, except in the case of bigamy;
- Marriages where the girl under the age of 16 is pregnant or had a child and is otherwise competent to marry, unless at the time of the action to annul the child is dead.