Grounds for Annulment

Divorce Papers » Grounds for Annulment

An annulment is an option for the couples who do not wish to be together but don't want to go for a divorce or can't opt for a legal separation. However, not all couples are eligible for an annulment as it is granted on specific grounds which are clearly proved in front of the judge.

The grounds for an annulment differ from state to state as well as faith to faith. There are two types of annulment. These types are: religious annulment and civil annulment. The religious annulment is granted by the religious authority and the civil annulment is granted by the state authority.

Common Grounds for Annulment:

However, there are some common grounds on whose basis the annulment can be granted to both the parties. These grounds are termed as common grounds as these form the core of an invalid marriage. The individual married under one of these circumstances, is bound into an invalid marriage and has a right to get out of it and move on with his / her life.

These common grounds for annulment are as follows:

  • Consanguinity or Affinity - The husband and wife should not be closely related with each other i.e. there should not be either half or full blood relation between them. According to the state laws of the USA, a person cannot marry his / her parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle, step-parents, step-siblings or any other relations where blood connection is involved. Such marriages are considered as incestuous and thus, illegal. Hence, consanguinity or affinity is one of the major reasons to seek an annulment whether it is done intentionally or happened unintentionally.

  • Bigamy - According to the state law, a person cannot marry if he / she has a surviving married spouse. If a person enters into a marital bond with another individual despite of having a surviving non-divorced spouse, it is considered as a bigamous marriage which is illegal in the USA. Even if the complainant is unaware of the situation during the wedding, such marriage is considered as null and void.

  • Incompetence or Fraud - If a person finds out that the person he / she married is mentally unstable or has an illness that they did not know of, they can file for an annulment. However, it needs to be proved in front of the judge. Inability to consummate the marital relationship, suffering from sexually transmitted diseases or a life-threatening condition such as cancer, amounts to incompetence as well as fraud.

    Even if the person is convicted of some financial fraud or felony or is suspected of having criminal activities, it amounts to fraud and an annulment can be granted immediately.

  • Defects in the Marriage Ceremony / License - If there are some defects in the marriage license issued or the ceremony that took place; like the priest not being ordained officially can be counted as a defect in the marriage ceremony.

    The marriage license has to be acquired from the relevant state authorities and signed by them. If not so, this is considered as a defect in the marriage license.

  • Force - If one of the partners have been forced into marrying the other by the use of force, coercion or threats, the marriage becomes invalid as it does not fulfill the criterion of a valid marriage i.e. free consent and hence is considered as an invalid marriage. At least one party has entered this marital bond by force and not the free will.

  • Concealment - The concealment of specific facts which endanger the well being of the spouse as well as the children produced by the marriage such as the income of the supporting spouse, information of the property, diseases, conviction or anything that puts the safety in jeopardy.

  • Misinterpretation or Misunderstanding - If a spouse misunderstands or misinterprets the information given by their spouse, they are entitled to an annulment on the grounds of the error of judgment.

  • Temporary or Permanent Insanity - Is a partner has a bouts of insanity or attacks of violent behavior which endangers the safety and security of the spouse and the children, is a firm ground for annulment in most of the states. However, this needs to be proved in the court so as to get the annulment.

  • Adultery - Committing mistakes such as flings, extra-marital affairs and one night stands with various sexual partners constitutes adultery. This is illegal in the USA and it deeply affects the other spouse mentally and emotionally.

  • Intoxication - If both the spouses testify that they were drunk to the state of unconsciousness while getting married and could provide the witnesses confirming the allegation, they can easily get an annulment on the grounds of being under the influence of toxic substance.

  • Underage - If one of the partners were younger than the specified legal age during the wedding, it can be a firm ground for the annulment to be granted by the court as underage marriages are illegal in the USA.

These are some of the common grounds for annulment used in almost all the states of the USA.

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