Annulment in Missouri

Divorce Papers » Annulment in Missouri

Annulment in Missouri is a decree passed to erase a non-existent marriage. The court order is not necessary for an annulment in Missouri as the marriage never happened and thus is non-existent in the eyes of law. There are two types of marriage which can be annulled according to the statute of Missouri. These are as follows:

  1. Void Marriage - A void marriage is always null and void, i.e. the marriage is invalid right from its inception. Such marriages have to be annulled as they cannot be validated no matter what. Even if they are entered into through good faith, they cannot be validated and thus a declaration of nullity is necessary.

  2. Voidable Marriage - A voidable marriage is a valid marriage until either of the partners discovers a condition that renders the marriage invalid. Such marriage is considered as valid until this discovery and invalid after the discovery. Only the declaration of nullity renders it invalid and non-existent in the eyes of the law.

Grounds for Annulment in Missouri:

The grounds for annulment in Missouri are limited and difficult to prove. These grounds are specified by the statute of Missouri and need to exist if the person wants an annulment. Let us have a look at these grounds:

  • Underage Marriage - The legal age for marriage in the state of Missouri is 15. The person under this age is not allowed to marry unless he/she has a legal consent. The underage marriage is a legal offense and prohibited by the state law. Thus, this marriage is void ab initio and has to be annulled.

    However, if the underage partner reaches the age of maturity and the marriage is consummated, the court cannot award annulment in such a case as the ground of being underage has been rectified by reaching the age of maturity and the consummation of marriage.

  • Consanguinity or Incest - Marriages between the blood relatives and some relations such as step relations and adoptive relations are considered to be consanguineous. The harsher term for a consanguine marriage is incest. The partners are not supposed to marry if they have descended from the same blood line. The marriages between ancestors and descendants are not allowed.

  • For instance blood relations such as parent - child, siblings, cousins or other relations such as step-parents, step-children, step-siblings, step-cousins, adoptive family such as half siblings etc., are slammed by the state law of Missouri.

  • Mental Incapacity - If the partners were incapable of giving consent to marriage due to the conditions such as intoxication, unconsciousness, insanity or immaturity, such a marriage is a voidable marriage and has to be annulled. These conditions render the couple incapable to make any decisions, let alone the important decision such as getting married. Marital relationship needs to be worked upon and is a difficult task.

  • Duress or Force - If either of the partners is forced to enter the wedlock under threats, coercion or any other form of duress, such a marriage is considered to be void ab initio as there is a lack of free will and free consent, which is necessary to make the marriage valid.

    The marriage entered into by force is an invalid marriage and cannot be validated, no matter what.

  • Same-sex Marriage - The marriages between gay and lesbian couples are prohibited by the state law of Missouri. Hence, they are void ab initio, which means they are null and void right from the beginning. Such marriages have to be annulled as they cannot be validated. Besides, such marriages are considered as a legally punishable offense and carry a sentence in the state of Missouri.

  • Bigamy - Multiple marriages such as polygamy, polyandry and polygyny are considered as a legally punishable offense according to the statute of Missouri. Any type of bigamy makes the marriage null and void right from its inception, which means that the marriage is void ab initio. Such marriages have to be annulled as nothing can be done to validate them.

  • Fraud - If a person is lured into a marriage by the means of fraud and misrepresentation, such a marriage is a voidable marriage and has to be annulled. However, the fraud must be in relation to something that is crucial for the normal functioning of a marriage. For instance, hiding the sexual orientation, imprisonment, incarceration, sexually transmitted diseases, sterility or any other thing which seriously endangers the well-being of the aggrieved partner.

  • Impotency - Inability to consummate the marriage is one of the firm reasons to annul a marriage. If one's partner has a physical or psychological disability that makes them unable to perform a sexual act is considered as impotency. Being sexually dissatisfied makes the marital relationship intolerable and the aggrieved partner can file for an annulment under the grounds of impotency.

All these grounds need to be proved before the court. The witnesses, documentation and any other body of proof that gives an ironclad reason for the court to grant an annulment is a good proof.

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