Our client recently sought the counsel of our Greensboro family law team in regards to an annulment between herself and her ex-husband based on the husband’s bigamous marriage. At first glance, it seemed the case would be simple, straightforward, and merely require a summary judgment action. However, during preparation, our family law team made a critical discovery. The law in North Carolina had recently changed in 2019, and the case would now require a hearing before a judge.
Not only was our client confronting a highly emotional and difficult situation, but she was also faced with tax evasion charges due to not reporting herself as married for several years. In addition, if the annulment was not granted, she risked the possibility of her ex-husband exercising his rights under a divorce.
Securing Witness Testimony
Our family law team quickly worked together to devise a winning strategy for our client. The most challenging hurdle to overcome was proving a negative, that our client’s husband was not divorced from his first wife. Our team needed to find out how Courts have accepted evidence of a negative. After conducting legal research, attorney Dillon Quinn discovered that most of the qualifying evidence consisted of witness testimony. The issue was that the husband refused to cooperate. So, it was impossible to secure witness testimony from his side. Yet, there was one other person involved that could potentially help our client’s case – the husband’s first wife.
Our family law team arranged to have the first wife file for divorce after our client initiated her court action. In this way, our team could use it as evidence at the hearing. At the hearing, after the presentation of testimony and evidence, the judge ruled in favor of our client.
The ruling was a tremendous weight off of our client’s shoulders. With our client’s marriage annulment granted, she will finally be able to fight the tax evasion case against her. She will also receive a refund for the money the NC Department of Revenue made her pay for the alleged past-due taxes.
Marriage Annulment and Bigamy
If you’re seeking an annulment on the grounds of bigamy, you must not have known about your spouse’s previous marriage before getting married. Otherwise, the judge will not be able to grant the annulment. Alternatively, if your spouse fraudulently convinced you they were divorced, you may be able to seek an annulment. However, this is incredibly difficult to prove.
When asked what advice he’d give to others in a similar situation, attorney Dillon Quinn said:
“If there is any question that your spouse was married before your marriage, check any and all public records to determine whether your spouse is divorced before you get married. Also, be prepared to give testimony at the hearing since North Carolina law will no longer permit a summary judgment or default judgment in annulment cases.” – Attorney Dillon Quinn
Seeking an Annulment in North Carolina?
If you believe you may qualify for an annulment in North Carolina, contact our family law attorneys today. They can help you understand the pros and cons and whether it is the right decision for you.