3 instances when a marriage can end with an annulment

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2024 | Family Law |

Marriage is generally intended to be a lifelong commitment. However, there are situations wherein a union is not valid in the eyes of the law, and annulment becomes a viable option.

Annulment differs from divorce in that it declares a marriage null and void as if it never existed. It’s essential to understand the circumstances under which annulment can be granted as a legal exit from a marriage. The following are a few of the most common.

Lack of consent or capacity

Marriage requires the voluntary consent of both parties. If one spouse was coerced, threatened or under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of marriage, it lacks the necessary consent. Similarly, suppose either party lacked the mental capacity to understand the consequences of marriage, such as in cases of mental illness or intellectual disability. In that case, the marriage can be annulled due to the absence of genuine consent.

Underage marriages

In Alaska, individuals below 18 years cannot legally enter into marriage. If someone under the legal age of marriage ties the knot without proper authorization or parental consent, the marriage can be annulled. This protects minors from being forced into marriages against their will or without understanding the implications.

Bigamous or incestuous marriages

Marriage laws prohibit unions where one or both parties are already married to someone else (bigamy) or where the spouses are closely related by blood (incest). Discovering that a spouse is still legally married to another person or is a close blood relative can be grounds for annulment. These marriages are considered void from the outset due to their illegal nature.

Annulment provides a legal remedy for marriages that are not valid or enforceable due to specific circumstances. Understanding the grounds for annulment is crucial for anyone considering this option. Many individuals can achieve closure and move forward with their lives by seeking legal counsel and navigating the annulment process effectively.

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