Nullity of Marriage

Nullity of MarriageNullity of marriage (also called an annulment or annulling a marriage) is one of the most frequently discussed core topics of family law, but is available in only a small number of circumstances when there exists a legal defect in the marriage. Generally, the marriage can be nullified and voided if the marriage itself was invalid in the beginning. Unfortunately, this process can be complex and only available to a small portion of married spouses due to the narrow technicality of the law.

A marriage can be nullified and declared void if…

1. A party is already legally married

Either party was married at the time of marriage. An example of this is if one person was going through a divorce but the divorce was never finalized or if one party was legally married in another country.

2. A party doesn’t provide consent

Either party did not have the capacity to consent to the marriage. An example of this is if one party is under the age to consent to get married or if one party lacks the capacity to consent to the marriage.

3. There’s a blood relationship

The parties are related by blood. An example of this occurs if one party takes a genetic test after marriage and discovers that their partner is related to them.

4. The marriage was not consummated

The marriage was not consummated. Generally, this requires a lack of intention to consummate the marriage and that the marriage was not consummated within the first year. Physical inability does not qualify for a marriage to be nullified under this exemption.

In some instances, after a long-term marriage is nullified, a spouse may still seek spousal support, a division of family property and debt, or a division of pension. Ultimately, if annulment is not an option to terminate a marriage, both parties must commit to separation, mediation or divorce.

Contact one of our Family Law lawyers to learn more.

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