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Annulment is a way of terminating a marriage that is different from divorce and separation. Annulment is the process of nullifying of a marriage where the court declares that the marriage never took place. In order to annul a marriage, the person seeking the legal action must have sufficient grounds for annulment. What follows is a list of requirements or grounds for annulment which must be presented to the courts to terminate a marriage in this way.
Grounds for annulment typically involve one party's lack of capacity for marriage or some type of fraud. One grounds for annulment is if one party had another living husband or wife at the time of marriage. This is valid even if the spouse knew about the other spouse prior to marriage. In some cases a person may have been legally denied the right to remarry, in which case this is sufficient grounds for annulment.
Grounds for annulment may involve one party being under the age of consent at the time of marriage. These requirements may vary by jurisdiction. Generally speaking, if the court determines that the party was too young to get married and no parental consent was given, the court may find this to be adequate grounds for annulment. In some cases, these statutes may even be applicable if the couple went to a different state to get married and returned to their state of residence where their union is deemed unlawful.
Grounds for annulment may also include being forced or threatened into marriage, mental incapacitation at the time of marriage, temporary or permanent insanity, intoxication (drugs or alcohol) at the time of the marriage, or marrying based on fraudulent statements or actions by the other party. Fraudulent marriage can be if one of the parties never intended to be married, the marriage was sought to deceive the other party, the marriage was for the purpose of gaining citizenship rights, and the like.
Grounds for annulment can also include impotency and incest. A person whose spouse is physically and incurably impotent during marriage has grounds for annulment, so long as they were not aware of the impotency prior to the marriage. If a marriage was never consummated, this constitutes viable grounds for annulment. Grounds for annulment also include unions between two people who are too close in relation such as: whole or half siblings, first cousins, parents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, and the like.
The grounds for annulment must be presented to the court on behalf of the innocent party. In order to be considered, the grounds for annulment must be presented to the courts within a specified time period. This time period is set forth in the statutes created by each state. This time restraint also depends on the specific grounds for annulment. In some cases this time period may begin at the time of discovering the factor which gives valid grounds for annulment.
If you would like to learn more about grounds for annulment, the time limit to start an annulment, or any related issues applicable in your state and case, please contact us to speak with a qualified and experienced family law attorney in your local area.
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