Annulment in Indiana

Divorce Papers » Annulment in Indiana

According to the statute of Indiana, an annulment is a legal declaration stating that a valid marriage was never conducted; something important was amiss. It is issued in the form of a court order and the marriage is wiped off the slate of the individual as if it never occurred.

There are certain conditions which render a marriage entered in good faith as invalid. The annulment in Indiana is also known as "Judgment of Annulment" or "Nullity of Marriage".

For a couple to be eligible for an annulment, they need to stay separate and apart without cohabitation and should not stay under the same roof. If you are staying in the same house, the court won't grant the annulment even if you are not cohabiting. The residency requirement for filing the annulment petition in the state of Indiana is six months. The spouses can remarry after the annulment is granted as the marriage is wiped clean off the records and made to look like it never happened.

Grounds for Annulment in Indiana:

There are few grounds which are specified by the statute of Indiana which need to be cited in order to get an annulment. However, these allegations have to be proved in front of the judge. If the petitioner is unable to prove these grounds, the petition for annulment is rejected and the divorce petition needs to be filed.

These grounds are as follows:

  • Force – If either or both the partners have been forced to enter the wedlock by threats, coercion or duress, the marriage is considered as invalid. Such a marriage has an important element amiss and that is free will and consent. The petitioner can get an annulment on the basis of force; however, they need to prove the use of force or threats during the marriage.

    If the petitioner is unable to prove the allegations, the court advises them to withdraw the plea for annulment and file for a divorce.

  • Incompetent to Consent – If a couple has entered the wedlock without considering the gravity of the situation and meaning of the marital bond, such a marriage lacks the vows and promises to support and love each other till death.

    Such couples marry for various reasons such as convenience, citizenship, legitimizing the children, pregnancy out of wedlock, etc. These couples are considered to be incompetent to consent the marriage and the marriage can be annulled on the grounds of incompetency or immaturity. However, as per the state law, these allegations also need to be proved in order to get an annulment.

  • Bigamous Marriage – If one of the spouse is previously married to a person still known to be alive and the previous marriage was not dissolved, the current wedlock is considered as a bigamous marriage. Such a marriage is illegal in every state of the USA including Indiana. As this marriage lacks the basic faithfulness and openness with each other, such marriage is considered as invalid and can be annulled on the grounds of bigamy.

    These allegations can be proved by submitting the previous marriage certificate or asking the previous partner to testify in the court.

  • Fraud or Misrepresentation – If either of the partners is lured into entering the marital bond under the false pretenses which are detrimental to a healthy marriage, such marriage is considered as invalid from the beginning. For instance, if a partner lies about his social status, income, sexual orientation, mental health or any other basic thing which is necessary for a normal functioning of a marriage and which affects the other partner and the children emotionally and socially is considered as fraud or misrepresentation of the facts.

    The fraud needs to be proved with the help of medical certificates, tax files, etc. Only after it is proved, the court grants the annulment.

  • Inability to Consummate – If a partner is physically unable to consummate the marriage due to impotency, insanity, hidden sexual orientation, fetishism or any other reason, such a marriage is considered to be voidable as the basic element of a marriage is procreation which becomes a moot in such cases. The reasons which renders him / her physically impossible to consummate the marriage need to be proved in front of the judge so that the annulment is granted on the grounds of impotency, or inability to consummate.

    However, the couple should not have indulged in sexual relations so as to cite this reason for an annulment.

  • Permanent or Temporary Mental Illness – If a person suffers from the bouts of insanity or has been diagnosed with a permanent mental illness shortly after marriage is incapable to provide for the family as well as take care of his or her spouse. Besides, their health keeps deteriorating and the family lives in a constant danger of being on the receiving side of the violent fits.

    The permanent or temporary insanity can be proved in the court by providing the medical certificates or by asking the psychiatrist to testify in the court.

  • Underage Marriage – If either or both the spouses were under 18 when they got married, the marriage is null and void right from its inception. The annulment can be granted to the petitioner on the sole ground of being underage during the marriage.

    However, the birth certificate needs to be provided and the couple should not have cohabited after the underage spouse turns 18 (legally adult, hence free to be sexually active).

  • Incest or Consanguinity – Marriage between full or half blood relatives is considered as incestuous marriage even if the relationship is legitimate. Such a marriage is annulled on the basis of consanguinity or affinity.

    However, the proof of the husband and wife's relation needs to be provided to the court.

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