What’s the Difference Between an Annulment and a Divorce?

person taking wedding ring off finger

Annulment vs. Divorce

If someone wishes to legally end their marriage, they have two options — divorce and annulment. While there are many similarities between the two, there are also major differences regarding how and when a divorce or annulment can be granted.


A divorce is the legal ending of a valid marriage. Each year in America, roughly 876,000 divorces take place.

Grounds for Divorce in North Carolina

North Carolina is a “no-fault state,” meaning one spouse does not have to prove the other spouse was at fault for the marriage ending. Essentially, this means that so long as one person wants to get a divorce because they believe the marriage has irrevocably broken down, they can file for one.


An annulment is a legal ruling that “erases” a marriage by declaring it null and void — this means the marriage was never legal in the first place. However, even if the marriage is erased, the marriage records remain on file.

Grounds for an Annulment

The grounds for an annulment are far stricter and more rigid than the grounds for a divorce. Some of the most common reasons why an annulment would be granted include:

  • One spouse was already married to someone else at the time of the marriage (bigamy).
  • After marriage, the couple discovers that they are close relatives.
  • One or both parties were under duress at the time of the marriage.
  • One spouse was too young to marry.
  • One spouse defrauded the other.
  • Either spouse was “not of sound mind” and incapable of entering a contract at the time of the marriage.

At Blood Law, PLLC, we believe in helping our clients achieve their goals – no matter how complex their divorce or other family law issue. Our experienced attorneys provide tailored legal services with a unique, team-based approach to do our best to achieve these results.

To learn more about our legal services, contact our Charlotte divorce lawyers onlineor give us a call at (704) 286-0570.

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