Determining whether your marriage could be declared voidable
Other factors might not be a sure bet for getting an annulment but might be helpful in getting one. These include impaired capacity or incapacity to consent and/or mistake of fact. A common scenario is where one or both of the spouses were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the wedding. Because of this, a case can be made that they lacked the ability to consent to the marriage. Another common situation is where a spouse learns during the marriage that, at the time of the wedding, the other party was under the age of 18, mentally retarded, legally insane, or otherwise legally deficient to enter into marriage validly.
These scenarios are not magic bullets for getting an annulment. For example, the age-of-majority issue can be overcome by showing that there was parental consent to the marriage, the parties willingly cohabited together after both were of age, or the party who filed the annulment petition did so after turning 19. Likewise, a marriage to an “insane” person is valid if it the court deems it occurred during a “lucid interval.”
Other factors a judge might review in deciding whether to annul a marriage include:
- Fraud or duress, such as where the other spouse misled you about an important fact about himself or herself, or forced you into the marriage by threats of death or serious bodily harm.
- Impotence, that is, failure to consummate the marriage.