Annulment of Marriage

Annulment Laws in the U.S. Copyright


An annulment is a court ruling voiding a marriage and declaring that it was never valid. The marriage is not merely dissolved, but is treated as though it never existed. As in divorce, it returns the parties to their previous, single status, leaving them free to enter into a valid marriage.

Specific grounds must be met to obtain an annulment. A common misconception regarding the basis for annulment it that the length of a marrige qualifies a couple for an annulment. In fact, the length of a marrige is irrelevant in terms of the ability to later annul a marriage. Whether a couple has been married for one week or many years, the couple only qualifies for an annulment if they meet the criteria outlined by their state's statutory requirements.

The most common include misrepresentation and fraud. Annulments may also be granted for bigamy, incest, inability to consummate the marriage, close blood relationship between the spouses, or marriage to a minor. Length of marriage is not a qualifying factor.

Annulments are very rare, and generally more difficult to attain than a divorce/dissolution.

Annulment Law by State

Laws and grounds to declare a marriage void, invalid and obtain an annulment vary from state to state. The following links provide general overviews of individual states' annulment law.

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