On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Sunday, October 25, 2015.
An annulment is a procedure by which a marriage is declared invalid under the law. It is different from a divorce, in which a valid marriage is ended. When a marriage is annulled, it is as if the marriage never even happened if the first place.
If you would like to have your marriage annulled, consider speaking with an experienced family law attorney. Because marriage annulments in Missouri are complicated, an attorney with experience in this unique area can be particularly helpful.
Getting a marriage annulled in the state of Missouri is difficult to do. Under Missouri law, you must prove one of the following grounds in order to obtain an annulment:
Bigamy: If a person is already married to someone else at the time of marriage, the marriage could be annulled.
Underage or lack of parental consent: In Missouri, anyone under the age of 18 must have parental consent, in writing, to get married.
Incest: Marriage between certain familial relationships is prohibited. These relationships include parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, siblings (including half siblings), aunts and nephews, uncles and nieces, and first cousins,
Lack of capacity: Both people must knowingly and voluntarily consent to getting married or the marriage can be annulled. If a person is mentally ill, insane, or so intoxicated at the time of marriage, an argument can be made that the person did not consent to the marriage.
Fraud: If one of the people was dishonest or misrepresented certain information in order to convince the other person to enter the marriage, the marriage may be annulled.
Duress or lack of consent: As mentioned above, both people must consent to the marriage. If one person compels the other to get married by, for example, threatening violence, the marriage could be annulled.
If you are able to prove one of these grounds, your marriage can be annulled in court. This leaves you free to marry someone else without having to go through the divorce process. Keep in mind that you lose certain rights that you would have enjoyed as a married person if your marriage is annulled. For example, you are no longer entitled to alimony or to a share of your former partner’s estate upon his or her death.