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# 509 Annulment

mp3 #509 Do You Have Grounds for Annulment for Your Marriage? (mp3 file)


Family Law matters are very complex. Many who try to handle these matters on their own quickly find themselves overwhelmed and out of favor with the courts. Often times costs are cited as the reason for self representation. However, most people with assets and retirement plans stand to lose significant amounts of money, or worse, custody of their children if they are not properly represented. Continue here to be referred to an experienced and insured Family Law attorney:


A marriage can be declared null and void if certain legal requirements were not met or understood at the time of the marriage. If these legal requirements were not met, then the marriage is considered never really to have existed in the eyes of the law. This process, formerly called annulment, is now simply referred to as a nullity of marriage. Nullity is different from dissolution of marriage. A dissolution dissolves a marriage that has existed. If the court declares a nullity, the people involved in the marriage are considered single, as if they had never been married.

There are several legal grounds for declaring a marriage a nullity. If you were married while you were still a minor, without the legal consent of at least one of your parents or of your legal guardian, your marriage can be declared a nullity. A minor is now defined as a person under 18 years of age. This particular ground can apply to marriage partners who married in secret or eloped without knowledge or consent of their parents. After reaching the age of 18, however, if you freely live as husband or wife with your spouse, this ground for nullity does not apply to you.

If either you or your spouse were still legally married to another person at the time of your marriage, then your marriage can be declared a nullity. A situation like this sometimes occurs when someone remarries before the dissolution of a previous marriage has been made final.

At the time of your marriage, if either you or your spouse did not have the ability to understand the nature of the marriage contract or the duties and responsibilities of the contract, then again you have a ground for nullity. However, if the person who did not have the ability to understand the contract later regains the capacity to understand it and lives freely with the spouse, then this ground does not apply. This particular ground applies, for example, to someone who has been mentally ill or who has suffered from a mental or emotional disorder.

f the consent to the marriage contract was obtained either by fraud or by force, then you also have a ground for nullity. Fraud is simply not telling the truth in order to induce the other party to ender into the marriage contract. Force implies the use of threat of physical violence to make a person get married. If the person who has been threatened or deceived about the marriage contract continues to live with the spouse after discovering the use of fraud or after being forced into the marriage, then this ground does not apply.

If at the time of marriage either spouse was physically incapable of entering the marriage state, generally because of lack of ability to have sexual intercourse, and if this physical inability appears incurable, then this is a ground for nullity.

Of course, marriages between brother and sister or parent and child or other close relatives are also void.

Declaring a marriage a nullity simply erases it from the records, as if it never took place; however, children born of such a marriage are legitimate. Because of the many things involved, it is wise to consult an attorney if you believe you have grounds to have your marriage declared a nullity.

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