A complaint for annulment of a wedding is not a common one. In most cases, it is either because people are not aware that such a thing exists, or they do not want to go through the hassle and expense of getting an annulment. However, the fact is that annulments do exist, and there are specific grounds on which a marriage can be annulled. However, it’s essential to differentiate between annulment versus divorce. Here are the top justifications for dissolution:
The marriage laws in most states say that a person cannot be forced to marry someone against their will. Therefore, if one spouse can show that they only married because they were threatened or coerced into it, the marriage is voidable. However, this will be valid if the compulsion can be shown to have occurred at or around the marriage ceremony. Sometimes, people discover years after they’ve tied the knot that their spouse had lied to them or hid critical information from them to get them to marry.
2. Incurable Mental Illness
If one spouse can show that their partner had a mental illness at the time of the marriage and that this illness is incurable, then the marriage may be annulled. The key word here is terminal. If the mental illness can be treated and the person is no longer considered mentally ill, this ground does not apply. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes people only realize that their spouse is mentally ill after already married and decide to have the marriage annulled.
If one spouse was under 18 years old at the marriage, then the marriage is voidable. This is because people are not considered to be of legal age to marry until they are 18. In some states, 17-year-olds may marry with parental consent, but, in general, 18 is the legal age to marry. This means that if one spouse was underage at the marriage, the marriage could be annulled.
Bigamy is the act of getting into marriage when you are already married to someone else. In other words, you cannot have two spouses simultaneously. If one spouse was already married when they married their current spouse, then the second marriage is void and can be annulled. Essentially, this ground for annulment is based on the fact that the marriage was never valid.
It’s common for people to misrepresent themselves when they are dating or engaged, but once the marriage ceremony has taken place, it’s much harder to prove that fraud occurred. To have a marriage annulled on the grounds of fraud, one spouse would need to be able to show that the other spouse lied about something important and that had they known the truth, they would never have married. For example, if a man tells his wife-to-be that he is a wealthy man, and it turns out he is broke, that could be considered fraud.
Annulment is a legal process that can dissolve a marriage if specific grounds exist. If you think you have grounds for an annulment, you should speak to an attorney to discuss your case. The Law Offices of Granoff & Kessler can help you determine if you have a case for annulment and, if so, guide you through the process.
Categorized in: Family Law