Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

What is annulment? While divorce is the end of a valid marriage, annulment is the end of a marriage that was invalid or void to begin with (voidable) from the start and was, therefore, not completely valid. That made a whole lot of sense, didn’t it?

So let it be broken down in the hopes that it will be more understood — starting off with a void marriage.  A void marriage is:

-One or both of the spouses is already legally married to someone else

-The spouses are too closely related to be married

-One or both of the spouses lacked the mental capacity or intent to marry

-Or if either one of the married couple was under 18 and entered into a common law marriage.

Void means cancelled, null, invalid or negated.
However, if the previous legal marriage becomes legally taken care of, and if the couple continues to live together, the void marriage becomes valid. So, if you’re married to someone else, and seeing someone else, if you get your first marriage taken care of (divorce for example) you can legally marry the other person. Unless of course you want to bring polygamy back, but don’t count on it.

Also, if the couple was under 18 when they got married, but they continue to live together to and after they are 18, the marriage is then valid.

 A marriage is voidable if at the time of the marriage:

-Either member of the couple was under 16 and did not receive authorization from the Orphans Court

-Either member of the couple was between 16 and 18 and did not receive parental consent

-Either member of the couple was under the influence of liquor or drugs

-Either member was impotent (helpless, weak, powerless, unable, incapable, etc)

-Either member of the party used fraud, duress, coercion or force on the other member (all of these words basically mean force, threat, or pressure, bullying threatening etc.)
However, voidable marriages can also become valid under special circumstances.  Annulment differs from divorce where the court ends an otherwise legal marriage on a specific date. Now keep in mind that annulment will not necessarily be granted by the court just because one of the members of the marriage says, “I’ve made a horrible mistake!” or because the length of the marriage wasn’t very long-it is rare the annulment is appropriate and very rarely is it granted.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>