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Can I Get An Annulment?

What Is An Annulment?

  • An annulment is a legal proceeding to declare that a marriage never happened.
     
  • Only marriages between certain people can be annulled.

Is An Annulment Right For Me?

Marriages may be annulled if one of the following situations occur:

  1. A spouse is under the age of 18 and could not give legal consent.
     
  2. A spouse is between 16 and 18 yrs of age and does not have parental or guardian consent to marry.
     
  3. A spouse is legally married to someone else.
     
  4. A spouse is of unsound mind.*
     
  5. A spouse's consent to marry was obtained by force.*
     
  6. A spouse's consent to marry was obtained through fraud.*
     
  7. A spouse was physically unable to enter into marriage and the incapacity continues and is permanent.
     
  8. The marriage is incestuous.

*  Indicates situations where an annulment may not be possible if you have freely lived with your partner.

What Is An Incestuous Marriage?

Incestuous marriages are marriage between:

  1. parent and child
     
  2. grandparent and grandchildren
     
  3. brothers and sisters of half as well as whole blood
     
  4. uncles and nieces of half as well as whole blood
     
  5. aunts and nephews of half as well as whole blood
     
  6. first cousins of half as well as whole blood

How Long Do I Have To Get An Annulment?

An action for an annulment must be started by a certain time. The time limit depends on the type of marriage.

  • Any time for an incestuous marriage.
     
  • Any time before you are 18, if you are married before the age of 18.
     
  • Within 4 years of the marriage, if you are between the ages of 16 and 18, and are married without parental or guardian consent.
     
  • Anytime during the life of your spouse or their former husband or wife, if your spouse is still legally married to someone else.
     
  • Anytime before the death of your spouse, if your spouse is of unsound mind.
     
  • Within 4 yrs of discovering fraud, if you consented to marriage through fraud.
     
  • Within 4 yrs of the marriage, if you consented to marriage by force.
     
  • Within 4 yrs of the marriage, if your spouse was physically unable to enter into marriage and the incapacity continues and is permanent.
     

What Effect Does An Annulment Have On My Child?

  • When a marriage is annulled, any children born of the marriage are legitimate and may inherit from the estates of both parents.
     
  • Custody of children of an annulled marriage are awarded to a parent based upon the best interest of the child.

DISCLAIMER: This information is not legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should talk to a lawyer and ask for advice about your options.

January 2019
Cite:NDCC §14-03
NDCC §14-04
Published by Legal Services of North Dakota