In North Carolina, an annulment can only be obtained under certain specific circumstances, none of them are based on length of marriage or whether or not the marriage was consummated. Therefore, it does not matter if the marriage was for a very short time or that there was no sex involved.
Most marriages are valid in form, i.e., the parties were of age to marry and/or had the proper consent of parent or custodian, the marriage license was obtained from the Register of Deeds, and the parties solemnized the marriage by vows before a ordained minister and at least two witnesses because the legal requirements are approved by officials at the time.
Therefore, assuming a valid marriage, the only cases in which an annulment may be considered are:
- Marriage between any two persons nearer of kin than first cousins, or between double first cousins;
- Marriage between a male person under 16 years of age and any female, or between a female person under 16 years of age and any male, except under certain circumstances involving underaged pregnancy;
- Marriage between persons either of whom has a husband or wife living at the time of such marriage (bigamy or a bigamous marriage);
- Marriage between persons either of whom is at the time physically impotent; or
- Marriage between persons either of whom is at the time incapable of contracting from want of will or understanding (i.e. at least one of them was incompetent).
Additionally, a marriage contracted under a representation and belief that the female partner to the marriage is pregnant, followed by the separation of the parties within 45 days of the marriage which separation has been continuous for a period of one year, shall be voidable unless a child shall have been born to the parties within 10 lunar months of the date of separation.
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