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Annulments

The difference between a divorce and an annulment is that an annulment basically erases the marriage as if it never happened. As far as the courts are concerned and from a legal standpoint, the marriage never existed.

Annulments can be quite tricky depending on where you live.  

Getting an annulment in Nevada can only happen if the marriage meets one or more of the following criteria…

  • One of the spouses has a Mental Illness, Insanity or Mental Disability: Marriage is a consensual relationship. The marriage may be annulled in this scenario on the basis that the person was not in the proper mental state to legally consent to the marriage.
  • Claiming temporary insanity is similar to the above mental illness qualification.  It comes down to whether or not the person claiming insanity was in an acceptable state of mind to give legal consent at the time of marriage. If it is deemed that one of the spouses entered into the marriage at the time they were experiencing a period of insanity and mental instability, the marriage may be annulled.
  • If one of the spouses tricked the other spouse into the marriage by misrepresenting information or not telling the truth in order to get the person to enter into a marriage, the marriage could be annulled based on fraud.
  • In the event someone has been threatened to the point they feel compelled to engage in marriage to avoid suffering the consequences of the threat, the marriage could be annulled. This would be because the person made the decision under duress. In this situation, proof of the actual threats, being so violent that the victim agreed to marry, are required by the courts in order to annul the marriage.
  • Being Intoxicated can be enough of a reason to get an annulment in Nevada. Intoxication in this scenario can mean being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the marriage. Further, being intoxicated to the point that one or both of the spouses does not realize the severity of engaging in the legal marital contract is grounds for an annulment.
  • Annulments for impotence could be granted if one of the parties in the marriage was unable to consummate the marriage. However, the spouse seeking the annulment must be able to prove that there is no way to cure the impotence and that they were not aware the other person had the condition.
  • Getting married underage in Nevada requires parental consent. Therefore if one of the spouses got married before they were 18 years old and did not have parental consent, the marriage could be annulled.
  • In the event one of the spouses is already in a legal marriage, the marriage would be able to be annulled in Nevada. This is considered bigamy and is prohibited by the state of Nevada.
  • Nevada prohibits marriage between relatives including children, parents, grandparents, and grandchildren (all levels). Further, brothers and sisters, uncles and nieces, aunts and nephews and first cousins are prohibited from entering into marriage. If there is an incestuous marriage it can be annulled in the state of Nevada.

Consequences of an Annulment in Nevada

Life after an annulment is quite a bit different than life after a divorce.  Since the courts essentially no longer recognize the marriage ever existed, there are no future attachments between the two parties. Many legal obligations that would normally follow in a divorce scenario are different in an annulment situation.  At the same time, many legal benefits that would follow a divorce, will not follow after an annulment. Some of the consequences of an annulment are:

  1. Spousal support and/or alimony payments: After an annulment, the court will not require any type of financial payments to be made to either party. However, there may be a circumstance where child support may be required to be paid.
  2. Sharing in property rights and or estate rights: Once the marriage has been annulled, only the property owner has the right to make decisions that affect property and therefore enjoy any benefits that may come from sale of that property.

If you are religious, getting an annulment can also get quite a bit more complex. In many religions, just because the court recognizes the annulment, doesn’t mean the church will. Different religions have different ways of recognizing an annulment. It is suggested that you contact your local church for advisement on what your options are.

Annulments are not for everyone. In some cases it may be quite clear and much easier to get a marriage annulled. However, after reading the above qualifications needed for a marriage to even qualify for annulment, it can certainly become much more complicated that a divorce. One thing is for sure, neither party should go about an annulment (or a divorce for that matter) without the support of a lawyer.

annulment