Annulment in Tennessee

Divorce Papers » Annulment in Tennessee

Annulment in Tennessee renders a marriage void, invalid and effectively non-existent in the eyes of law. There is a specific process to get an annulment in Tennessee. However, it is not common and the process is a bit complicated due to the various requirements necessary to get an annulment.

Annulment Process in Tennessee:

As mentioned above, there is a specific process to get an annulment in the state of Tennessee. This process is as follows:

  1. Petition - The aggrieved spouse is supposed to file a petition with the local county court along with an appeal to grant an annulment on the basis of the grounds. The grounds are to be cited in the appeal and the documentation supporting the claims have to be attached with the petition.

  2. Summons - After the petition is filed, the court sends summons to the respondent. These summons have a notice saying that a petition has been filed for an annulment due to the reasons specified. The final date to send the response is mentioned in the summons and the respondent is summoned for the hearing.

  3. Response - The respondent has to reply to the summons notice by accepting the grounds. The response can be sent either by accepting the charges or by counter-filing for divorce. If the respondent responds by counter-filing for divorce, the court shifts the case to divorce instead.

  4. Hearing - After receiving a response from the defendant, the court schedules a hearing. The proofs are submitted and both the sides are given an opportunity to present their side.

  5. Verification - After hearing the sides and getting the proofs, they are verified by the experts appointed by the court. They submit their reports on the cited grounds and the authenticity of the proofs submitted.

  6. Verdict - After the verification, the court reaches its final verdict that is handed in the from of an official decree. If the judge does not award the annulment, the case is rejected and the couple is advised to file for a divorce instead.

Grounds for Annulment in Tennessee:

The grounds for annulment in Tennessee are specified by the statute. It is very important to prove the grounds that are cited as the reason for seeking annulment. The court cannot award an annulment if the grounds are not proved. These grounds are as follows:

  • Multiple Marriages - If a person is married, he / she is not supposed to marry anyone else unless the marriage is dissolved either by death or by divorce. Only if the previous spouse's whereabouts are unknown for a period of 5 years, the marriage is considered as valid. Otherwise, such a marriage is considered as bigamous marriage.

  • Fraud or Misrepresentation - If a person is lured into a marriage by misrepresentation such as posing as someone else, hiding the original identity, previous sex-change operation, citizenship etc., which are crucial for a marriage to work. Such a marriage is considered to be based on fraud and thus can be annulled if a substantial proof is provided claiming the fraud allegations are indeed true.

  • Consanguinity or Incest - Marriages between people descending from the same blood line are prohibited by the state law. These relations include the marriages between the ancestors - descendants such as

  • parent - child, grandparent - grandchild, siblings, cousins (first and second) or any other relation that has the same blood line. Such relations are termed as incest. Some non-blood relations ending in

  • marriages such as stepparent - stepchild, step relations of any kind such as siblings, cousins or adoptive parents, siblings and cousins as well as half siblings are considered as incestuous marriages.

  • Duress or Force - If a person is forced to marry someone against their will, the marriage is considered as force marriage. If any kind of duress such as threats, coercion is used on a person to force them to enter the wedlock, such a marriage is invalid and has to be annulled. In such cases, the court usually grants the restriction order and grants the annulment immediately.

  • Sexual Dysfunction - If a partner is unable to consummate the marriage, it can be a firm ground for getting an annulment in the state of Tennessee. Procreation is the basic function of any marriage and inability to consummate the marriage undermines this function. Besides, it also leaves the potent partner dissatisfied which may lead to infidelity and further transgressions.

  • Underage Marriage - The legal age for marriage is 18 as per the state laws of Tennessee. An underage person can marry at the age of 16 if he / she has the court's permission for it. However, if the necessary permissions are not obtained, such marriages are considered as invalid and have to be annulled. The age proof of the underage spouse has to be provided.

  • Mental Illness - A person suffering from a mental illness or insanity is not supposed to marry as they can be most vulnerable if the marriage is entered into without understanding the meaning of the commitment it needs and the efforts necessary to be taken in order to make it work.

  • Same-sex Marriage - Marriages between the gay and lesbian couples are prohibited by the state law. Such marriages are considered invalid and cannot be validated no matter what. Such marriages have to be annulled. The proof of the marriage such as the license or the certificate has to be presented along with the photographs taken if any.

After the annulment is granted, the spouses can remarry and are returned to their pre-marital status, both socially and financially.

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