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Get an Annulment in Connecticut
To annul a marriage is to render the marriage void from the beginning, as opposed to a dissolution (divorce), that terminates a valid marriage due to causes arising subsequent to the marriage ceremony. There is no single Connecticut statute that itemizes the grounds for annulment. Rather, grounds fall into two categories: those specifically set forth by statute, and those recognized by common law. An annulment is granted if the marriage is void or voidable under the laws of this state or of the state in which the marriage was performed. Some grounds establish that the marriage was void at its inception – others establish a basis for one of the parties to go to court and ask that the marriage be declared void. If an annulment is granted, it will be declared either void or voidable. Examples of void marriages are bigamous or incestuous marriages. Voidable marriages involve fraud, force or duress, or physical or mental incapacitation.
Consanguinity or affinity – this term is related to married persons that are too closely related. The law prohibits a woman marrying her father, grandfather, son, grandson, brother, uncle. nephew, step son or step father, The same prohibitions apply to men with similar female relationships. These marriages are void from the outset, and the judgment of annulment merely validates its illegality.
Bigamous marriage – a person marries another person who is already married. Some attempt this fully aware of the other marriage, but most encounter situations where a divorce decree for a prior marriage is invalid or not final. Void from its inception, bigamous marriages are annulled to serve as a record of the void nature of the marriage.
Incompetence – while not specifically prohibited by statute, incompetence (mentally retarded, mentally ill, or otherwise incompetent while entering a marriage, state law requires that before a marriage license can be issued, one must be able to make reasonable decisions for him/her self. Anyone under the supervision and control of a conservator or guardian must receive written consent of that person before the marriage. Without the consent, the marriage is void.
Defects in the marriage license or ceremony – if the person performing the marriage ceremony were not qualified under Connecticut law to perform such ceremonies, it is grounds for annulment.
Fraud, force or duress – Marriage requires the mutual consent of the parties. If the consent of one of the parties was obtained by fraud, the marriage becomes void because one party the mutuality of consents required for a valid marriage did not exist.
Concealment or misrepresentation of facts or circumstances – Misrepresenting a person’s health or physical condition can lead to an annulment. If conditions make it impossible for a party to perform the duties or obligations of a spouse or make it dangerous to the health of the other spouse or offspring, it is cause for the marriage to be annulled. You must file an annulment petition and be prepared to cite specific examples about why it should be annulled.
Questions and Answers
Q. What does it mean when someone gets a marriage annulment?
In Connecticut, an annulment is a decree that the marriage was void when it took place, meaning that the couple was never legally married in the first place. The annulment is a declaration of nullity, meaning the marriage never took place or should never have taken place.
Q. Is an annulment easy to get in this state? What’s involved?
The process is a complex legal matter, in part because the basis for annulment are drawn from a number of different statutes (laws), as well as in what is known as common law. One files for an annulment much as you do a divorce.
Q. If I file for an annulment and provide to the court valid justification for the annulment, must we go through a trial to get it done?
The reality is that all judges will need to be certain that what you claim is really true, and that exercise usually involves testimony under oath. That does not necessarily mean you are headed to trial; just that one or more hearings are inevitable.
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