Marital Annulment in West Virginia

Divorce Papers » Marital Annulment in West Virginia

An annulment in West Virginia is a court order declaring an invalid marriage null and void. It is granted in the form of a court decree after the grounds are cited and the cited grounds are proved in front of the judge.

Annulment in West Virginia is a rare occurrence owing to the limited grounds and the difficulty in proving these grounds. Unless these grounds are proved to really exist, annulment cannot be granted and the court advises the couple to go for divorce suit instead.

Annulment in West Virginia is also termed as marital annulment or legal annulment. A court order is issued declaring it which makes it 'legal'. After the annulment is granted, the individuals return to their pre-marital status of being single and can remarry. The children born out of such an invalid marriage are deemed legitimate and both the parents are directed to take the responsibility of these children.

It takes about 60 days to complete the annulment process, if sufficient proofs are provided and an amicable annulment is demanded by the couple.

Grounds for Annulment in West Virginia:

The grounds for annulment in West Virginia have been specifically stated in the statute and the couple must be able to prove at least one ground so as to get an annulment. These grounds are pretty difficult to prove and hence, annulments are a rare occurrence in the state of West Virginia. These grounds are as follows:

  • Fraud - If the person has been lured into wedlock under false pretenses and fraudulent behavior, such a marriage has to be annulled as it has a base in fraud, which makes it invalid and thus has to be annulled. This may consist of concealing important facts, lying or defying the state laws just to get the person to marry oneself.

    The proofs of the fraud and false pretenses have to be presented in the court and the judge has to approve of them. The fraud can be proved with the help of witnesses, documentation and exhibits, which prove that the marriage was entered under false pretenses and fraudulent circumstances.

  • Incestuous Marriage - Marriage between the couples related either by blood (consanguinity) or by affinity are invalid from the beginning and have to be annulled. These relations are parent - child, grandparent - grandchild, step-parent - step-child, siblings, step-siblings, cousins, step-cousins, which are considered as incestuous and thus have to be annulled.

    The proofs of the relationship between the husband and the wife need to be proved in front of the court to get an annulment. Such marriages are void ab initio and nothing can be done to validate them. Such marriages which have consanguinity and affinity have to be annulled as they have no base to continue.

  • Mental Illness - If either of the partners is diagnosed with a mental condition, which is incurable and is bound to deteriorate the mental as well as the physical health of the person, such marriage can be annulled on the grounds of mental illness. Metal incapacity is one of the grounds that guarantee an annulment owing to the difficulty in leading a normal life. This difficulty is faced by the ill partner as well as the family and the children. The well-being of the spouse and the children is also endangered in such cases as mental patients are known to be violent in some cases.

    A medical certificate and reports of evaluation can be presented in the court along with the statement and testimony of the psychiatrist treating the patient.

  • Bigamy - A person is not supposed to marry someone else when they are already married and if the marriage is not dissolved either by divorce, death or by annulment. If a person discovers that they have been married to a person who was already married to someone else, he / she can file for an annulment in the state of West Virginia.

    The testimony of the previous spouse, the marriage certificate and other documentation, which proves that the marriage still exists, can be presented in the court to get an annulment on the grounds of bigamy.

  • Concealment - If the person discovers that his / her partner is concealing some vital information from him / her, which is crucial for the normal functioning of a marriage, he / she can file for annulment on the grounds of concealment. It comprises of hiding the sexual orientation, sexually transmitted diseases, fetishism, sadomasochism, previous sex-change operation, pregnancy out of marriage in case of men and being pregnant due to other man than the husband in case of women or any other condition which can cause hindrance in a smooth-sailing marriage.

  • Underage Marriage - If a person married under the age of 18, it is a legal offense according to the statute of West Virginia. Such a marriage is void ab initio and has to be annulled on the grounds of it being an underage marriage.

    The age proof of the underage spouse has to be submitted to the court and the petition can be filed either by the underage spouse or by his / her parents.

  • Impotency - Inability to consummate the marriage makes a valid marriage invalid. If a person is unable to perform the sexual act thus leaving the other partner dissatisfied, such a marriage has to be annulled. The main element of a marriage is procreation, and inability to consummate the marriage nullifies the probability of procreation.

However, these grounds are difficult to prove and it is hard to get an annulment in West Virginia if the grounds are not proved in the court.

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