January 21, 2008

Is Annulment an option?

Annulment is a legal procedure for declaring a marriage null and void. Unlike divorce, it is retroactive and considered never to have existed. In legal term’s, an annulment refers only to making a voidable marriage null. Have you ever heard the term null and void? I have seen a lot of questions regarding annulment so I did some research and found the guidelines for obtaining an annulmeent, which may vary in different legal jurisdictions. The list is as follows:

1. Either spouse was already married to someone else at the time of the marriage in question.
2. Either spouse was too young to be married, or too young without required court or parental consent. (In some cases, such a marriage is still valid if it continues well beyond the younger spouse's reaching marriageable age.)
3. Either spouse was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the marriage;
4. Either spouse was mentally incompetent at the time of the marriage;
5. If the consent to the marriage was based on fraud or force;
6. Either spouse was physically incapable to be married (typically, chronically unable to have sexual intercourse) at the time of the marriage;
7. The marriage is prohibited by law due to the relationship between the parties. This is the "prohibited degree of consanguinity", or blood relationship between the parties. The most common legal relationship is 2nd cousins; the legality of such relationship between 1st cousins varies around the world.
8. Prisoners sentenced to a term of life imprisonment may not marry.
9. Concealment (e.g. one of the parties concealed a drug addiction, prior criminal record or having a sexually transmitted disease)

The guilty party (the one with responsibility for having caused the defect in the marriage) is ordinarily disentitled to request a declaration of nullity. The victimized spouse may ordinarily apply for innocent spouse relief. The fact that a marriage was a nullity ordinarily does not prevent an innocent spouse from collecting the financial benefits of marriage, such as the rights to community property, spousal support, child support, and equitable contribution to attorney fees for litigation expenses. I hope this information helps.

No comments: