I have recently separated from my wife of 1 year due to infidelity and am seeking an annulment due to her Bipolar Disorder and unstable behavior. She was officially diagnosed and treated years before our marriage. We own no property, have no kids and have never had our own place in our names or shared any utility bills or debt. Our addresses have been legally separate the entire marriage. The only thing we had was a joint checking account which I have taken myself off of. Am I eligible to get an annulment on the grounds of my wife not being of sound mind? What needs to be proven?
It sounds like you have already looked at the statute on annulment under NC law. I would caution that getting an annulment will be far more difficult (read "expensive") than simply filing for a standard divorce. Why? Because you'd have to present evidence that she was of "unsound mind" and have a Judge decide: a) whether any of your evidence is admissible; b) how much weight to attach to your evidence; and c) whether you have proven your spouse is of "unsound mind." To get into all of your spouse's mental issues, you'd almost certainly have to engage in expensive formal discovery. Each of these points invites your spouse to challenge the case are trying to make and then she'd have an opportunity to present her own case. As in any kind of litigation, you need to consider the distinct possibility that you might not be able to persuade the Judge that you've proven the proper grounds for an annulment; meaning you could spend a fortune in legal fees only to get turned away and still be legally married to your spouse. From your question it appears that there may not be any property/debt issues and, if that proves true (something you really ought to confirm through a full review of ALL the relevant facts with an attorney), then a divorce could be granted based a year's separation, which would almost certainly simply the case and make it far more affordable because everything will boil down to ONE issue: have you lived separate and apart for one year or more? That would avoid a TON of time, both in and out of court, that you'd otherwise need to pay a lawyer for. So, I'd recommend consulting with a local family law attorney and I don't think I'd get too enamored with the idea of filing for an annulment.
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Excellent response by Mr. Davis. Contact a local family law attorney to discuss this in more detail. It would be less expensive to obtain a separation agreement and divorce about a year later...unless you won the lottery or converted a fortune in separate property to marital property after marriage.
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I concur with both previous answers. Annulment is limited to very specific grounds. Bi polar disorder while difficult to deal with probably doesn't make her incompetant.
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