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Under what circumstances can spouses annul a marriage?

What if you find out that your marriage was a fraud? What if you discover you're accidentally married to your cousin? In these circumstances, is it necessary to file for divorce and go through the entire divorce process to get out of your marriage? The answer to this question could be "no" in some circumstances -- that is, if you can qualify to have your marriage annulled.

Annulment is a legal term that describes the act of invalidating a marriage. Basically, if your marriage gets annulled, it will be like the marriage never happened. The annulment of marriages, however, is rare. That's because the circumstances that allow for annulment aren't common.

Nevertheless, there are a considerable amount of situations that could lead to an annulment. Does one of the following situations apply to you?

  • One of the spouses suffered from insanity, mental illness or serious cognitive deficiencies at the time of marriage.
  • One of the spouses was temporarily insane and not "lucid" at the time of the marriage.
  • One of the spouses lied about a material fact that would have caused the other spouse to reconsider getting married.
  • One of the spouses did not consent to the marriage, and/or was forced to marry under duress.
  • One of the spouses was intoxicated at the time of the marriage ceremony and incapable of knowing what was happening.
  • One of the spouses could not consummate the marriage due to impotency or an inability to have sex, but the other spouse didn't know about the problem before marriage.
  • The parents did not consent in the case of an underage marriage.
  • One of the spouses was already married to another person.
  • The spouses were of close blood relation to one another.

If one of the above situations applies to your marital union, and you want to end your marriage, you might be able to qualify for annulment. A Tennessee family law attorney can review the facts of your situation to determine if annulment could be a wise choice for your circumstances.

Source: FindLaw, "Annulments: Overview," accessed Nov. 08, 2017

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