Each state has its own requirements for two people to marry. These requirements are pretty much standard for most states, including prohibiting marriages that are incestuous or involve bigamy.
An annulment of a marriage basically erases the marriage as if it never happened. It is reserved for those marriages considered invalid. In North Dakota, there are seven grounds for an annulment. These include:
-- One or both of the parties are underage. The age of consent without parental consent is 18.
-- A previous marriage is still in effect.
-- One party is of an unsound mind.
-- The marriage was obtained through fraud.
-- The marriage was obtained by force.
-- One party is not physically capable of agreeing to the marriage.
-- The marriage is incestuous, meaning it is between ancestor and descendant, brother and sister, aunt and nephew, uncle and niece or first cousins.
The time limits in which an annulment can be granted vary depending on the grounds for the annulment.
-- For a previous marriage still in effect, there is no time limit.
-- For underage party or parties, an annulment can be granted within four years of the age of consent or unless the parties are voluntarily.
-- For a marriage with a party with an unsound, an annulment may be given at any time.
-- For a marriage perpetrated under fraud, an annulment may be given up to four years after the fraud was discovered.
-- For marriages by force or with a party who is physically incapable, an annulment may be granted within four years of the date of marriage.
-- For an incestuous marriage, an annulment may be granted any time.
If you want more information about an annulment, an attorney can help you determine your legal options.
Source: FindLaw, "North Dakota Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws," accessed Feb. 24, 2017