Our last blog post dealt with marriage of underage parties and requirements to annul those marriages.
This post will deal with marriages between two adults that may qualify for annulment.
Many people would like to have an annulment rather than the divorce because it can be quicker. In order to have an annulment, you must prove that the marriage should never have been. “Should never have been” means from a legal perspective, not just an emotional one.
Some examples of the marriages that may qualify for annulment are the following:
Intoxication. When of the parties was so intoxicated that they could not legally consent to being married.
Mental Incapacity. In order to consent to marriage, each party must have the mental capacity to do so.
Impotence of either party. If one of the parties is unable to participate in normal marital relations and the other party did not know this prior to the marriage this may qualify for an annulment.
Married Within the Waiting Period. One party was divorced from a third party within the 30 days prior to the marriage and the other party did not know about it.
Duress. One party forces another to get married or threatens them.
Fraud. A party hides something very essential and the other party does not learn about it until after the marriage.
The following are two types of marriage that will be declared void in an annulment proceeding.
Relatives. If two people got married who were too closely related this may qualify for an annulment.
Bigamy. If one of the parties is still married to someone else at the time of the wedding. (however, if they continue to live together as spouses after the divorce and the “innocent spouse” has knowledge of the previous marriage they can be considered married and an annulment sought later will be denied.)
In all of the above cases, it is important to act quickly, in some situations within 30 days of the marriage.