Marriage Annulment in New Hampshire

Divorce Papers » Marriage Annulment in New Hampshire

Annulment in New Hampshire is rare to get due to the difficulty in proving the grounds cited as the reasons for asking for an annulment. While granting the annulment the court determines that the marriage "should never have been" and it was invalid to begin with.

The annulments in New Hampshire are granted in case of marriages that have taken place under fraud or duress, prohibited by the law, or where the parties were incapable to understand what was happening with them.

Annulment Process in New Hampshire:

The process of annulment in New Hampshire is similar to the process of divorce. One has to file a petition, serve the summons, attend a hearing and wait for the final ruling by the judge. Let us have a look in detail at this process of annulment:

  1. File the Petition - The first step in the process of annulment is filing the petition. The petitioner has to attach the appeal to grant the annulment, mention the grounds on the basis of which one wants an annulment and the documentation supporting the allegations.

    Before submitting the petition to the court, the petitioner has to fill the necessary forms that can be downloaded from the official website of the state, and have to file them with the local county court, which handles the cases related to Family Law.

  2. Serve the Summons - After the petition is filed, the summons is served to the respondent. The respondent is given a specific deadline during which he / she can file the response for the petition filed. If the address of the respondent is unknown, a notice can be published in the local newspapers.

    Usually, the court sends the summons to the respondent and after they receive a response, the next step is taken. The response is usually an acceptance of the grounds leveled by the petitioner or the respondent can counter-file for divorce. If it happens, the court shifts the case from annulment to divorce.

  3. The Hearing - After the response is received from the respondent, a hearing is scheduled where the judge listens to both the parties, the reasons for the fall out, grounds cited for annulment and the respondent's reaction to the claims and allegations.

    After the hearing, the proof submitted are verified through various sources appointed by the court and cross-checking is done to ensure that the grounds cited do exist.

  4. Final Hearing - After the hearing and proof verification, the court reaches its verdict which is granted in the form of a court order or a decree, which can be used as a proof to change the official records and the couple is returned to their pre-marital status. They can even marry the person they want to.

Grounds for Obtaining Annulment in New Hampshire:

The grounds for obtaining annulment in the state of New Hampshire are given by the statute. These grounds need to be proved in order to get an annulment. These grounds are as follows:

  • Incest - Marriage between blood relatives or relatives by marriage is considered as incest. The exact terms for such marriage are consanguinity and affinity. Marriage between the people descending from the same blood line or between ancestors and descendants is considered as consanguinity. Marriage between two people who are related by someone's marriage in the relation is considered as affinity. Such marriages are prohibited by the law and cannot be validated.

    They have to be annulled or the couple has to file for divorce if the substantial proof cannot be submitted to the court. Such marriages are void ab initio and thus have to be declared null and void.

  • Addiction - Habitual substance abuse can be a firm ground for annulment in the state of New Hampshire because the person addicted to drugs, alcohol or other medications is usually dysfunctional and has to have stints in rehabilitation center.

    Due to his, such a person is unable to take care of his / her spouse and family and cannot provide their basic needs.

    The proofs for these claims need to be submitted to the court so as to obtain an annulment. However, it is very difficult to prove these allegations and thus, difficult to get an annulment.

  • Same-sex Marriage - Marriages between the people of same sex are prohibited by the state law of New Hampshire. Such marriages are considered as legal offense and carry a sentence for the people involved in such marriages.

    The lesbian and gay marriages come under the section prohibited marriage and thus have to be annulled. Contrary to other grounds, these marriages do not need a proof and are annulled immediately. These marriages are easy to annul as compared to other grounds.

  • Mental Incapacity - If a partner is mentally unstable or diagnosed with mental illness, the other partner can file for annulment according to the statute of New Hampshire. Insanity renders a person incapable of normal functioning and such a person cannot brave the day-to-day challenges faced by individuals. Such a marriage can be annulled if it is found that the petitioner was unaware of this mental condition, when they got married.

  • Physical Disability - If a person is physically unable to consummate the marriage, such a marriage cannot be considered as valid and has to be annulled. The aggrieved spouse remains dissatisfied in a marital relationship, which may lead to straying which is not at all desirable in a marriage. Also, if the person is sterile, that is, unable to produce children, it can be taken as one of the grounds for annulment.

  • Underage Marriage - If one of the partners is under the legal age of marriage, such a marriage is considered as invalid and has to be annulled. The petition has to be filed before the partner reaches the legal age of marriage. Thus, this can be a firm ground for annulment of marriage in the state of New Hampshire.

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