One of the primary objectives of our blog has always been to provide readers with a comprehensive and comprehensible look at what the law in Minnesota has to say concerning divorce and other family law matters.
In keeping with this theme, today's post will focus on the topic of annulment, something with which many people are undoubtedly familiar, but may not understand entirely.
In general, an annulment has the same effect as a divorce in that it involves a court officially ending a marriage. Where the two differ, however, is that an annulment serves as a recognition that a marriage never actually took place in the eyes of the law.
It's important to appreciate, however, that not all marriages can be annulled. Indeed, Minnesota law sets forth certain limited circumstances in which this course of action may be undertaken:
- One spouse was unable to provide their voluntary consent to the marriage during the ceremony owing to the fact that he or she 1.) had an underlying mental illness/mental incapacity of which the other party was unaware, 2.) was under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other "incapacitating" substances, and 3.) provided their consent due to fraud or force.
- One spouse was unable to consummate the marriage, something of which the other spouse was unaware.
- One spouse was not of legal age at the time of the wedding, which is generally 18, or 16-17 if consent is provided by parents, a guardian or the court.
Another important fact that must be appreciated is that the court's decision to grant the annulment may be influenced by a variety of factors, including whether a person voluntarily continued to live with their spouse upon conclusion of the ceremony.
In our next post, we'll examine another process similar to divorce: legal separation. In the meantime, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about divorce or the process of securing an annulment.