Marital Annulment in Connecticut
Divorce Papers » Marital Annulment in Connecticut
The annulment in Connecticut is granted only if the marriage is either void or voidable as per the statute of Connecticut. A void marriage is the marriage which should never have happened whereas a voidable marriage is marriage which was valid but is rendered invalid due to the discovery of certain conditions or circumstances which make it invalid.
After the annulment is granted, the parties are returned to their pre-marital status and they are able to marry again as the decree states that the marriage never existed and thus the individuals are free to marry anyone they want.
Grounds for Annulment in Connecticut:
The grounds for obtaining an annulment in Connecticut are defined by the statute and they need to be proved in order to get an annulment. The annulments are rarely granted as it is difficult to prove the grounds satisfactorily in front of the judge. These grounds are as follows:
Consanguinity or Affinity - The marriage between two people who descend from the same bloodline or the people who are related by blood to each other is considered as consanguinity. The marriage between two people related by marriage is considered as affinity. The slightly harsh term for such marriages is incest and such marriages are invalid from the start in the eyes of the law.
The relationship between the couple should be proved in the court to get an annulment on this ground. Even if it is not proved, the court directs the couple to go for divorce as the marriage is void ab initio and nothing can be done to make it valid.
Bigamy - If a person married another when he / she is already married to someone and the marriage has not been dissolved either by divorce or by annulment, such a marriage is considered as bigamous and has to be annulled no matter what. Bigamy or polygamy is a legal offense according to the state law of Connecticut and carries a sentence.
The marriage proof of the first marriage of the guilty spouse can be submitted to the court along with the photographs, documents, or presenting the legal spouse to testify could be another option. If the judge finds the proof substantial, the annulment is granted on this ground.
Mental Incompetence - If it is discovered that either of the spouses is mentally unstable or has been diagnosed with a mental illness or a mental disorder, such a spouse is considered mentally incompetent for normal functioning required to make a marital relationship work.
Such a marriage can be annulled on the grounds of mental incompetence, mental illness or insanity. The medical documentation such as reports, certificates and the written diagnosis by a professional therapist can be submitted to the court as the proof. If the court finds it enough, annulment can be granted on this ground.
Defects in Marriage Ceremony or License - If the marriage license issued was defective like the person who issued it was not authorized to do so or there was a defect in the ceremony like the officiant was unauthorized and was not affiliated to any religious or civil body, such a defects can make the ceremony invalid thus making the entire wedding invalid.
In such cases, the annulment can be granted by the court after cross-checking the claims of defective ceremony or license.
Fraud, Force or Duress - If the marriage was entered into on the basis of fraudulent behavior by telling lies or for purposes such as securing the citizenship of the state or changing the identity to escape conviction or false impression of pregnancy out of wedlock, such a marriage is considered as fraud and can be annulled on the grounds of fraud.
If the person is forced to enter a wedlock by threatening to kill or by the means of coercion and duress, such a marriage is considered as invalid as it lacks the free consent and free will necessary for a marriage to be valid. Such a marriage can be annulled on the grounds of force or duress after submitting the proof supporting these allegations.
- Concealment or Misrepresentation - Concealing important facts from the spouse just so that they enter the wedlock is an important ground for annulment in Connecticut. The concealment should be regarding the important issues which determine its functioning rather than the trivial issues such as income or status. Misrepresentation is hiding things and revealing only half truths so that the person agrees to marriage. The examples of concealment are hiding the sexual preference, sadomasochism, fetishism or other sexual bits about one's identity. Misrepresentation may be hiding a previous sex-change operation or faking a pregnancy just for the sake of marriage etc.
Steps for Annulment in Connecticut:
The steps of filing for annulment in Connecticut are as follows:
- Petition - The petition for annulment has to be filed with the local county court by filling the relevant forms, attaching the proofs and an appeal to grant the annulment on the basis of cited grounds.
- Summons - After the petition is filed, a summons is served to the other spouse. The court gives them a certain time limit to respond.
- Response - The respondent can respond with acceptance to the charges or counter-file for divorce in which case, the court transfers the annulment suit to the divorce suit.
- Proof Verification - The proofs are submitted to the court and the verification is done by the officials appointed by the court. The grounds are also verified if they exist or not.
- Final Ruling - After the verification, the court reaches the final verdict and either grants the annulment or asks the parties to file for divorce instead of annulment.