Louisiana Divorce Guide


The marriage annulment process is much like the divorce and separation processes, in that one must petition the court and satisfy legal requirements to have an annulment ruling (nullity) be granted. You must have grounds for an annulment and be able to provide facts and evidence to support your claims. An annulment is a declaration by the court that a marriage should never have taken place because it was illegal or improper to begin with. According to state law, one of the following grounds for annulment must be proven before an annulment will be granted:

  • Coercion, Fraud or Duress – one spouse was coerced into the marriage or was lied to
  • Underage – one of the parties was a minor on the marriage day and did not have permission from a parent or guardian to marry
  • Altered State – one party was whacked out on booze or drugs
  • Mental Disability – one spouse was and is mentally ill from the time of the marriage
  • Consanguinity – the spouses are too-closely related (first cousins or closer)
  • Improper ceremony – person who married them was not licensed, ceremony did not conform to state standards
  • Bigamous relationship – one spouse was married when they married another

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In some cases, couples can undo or unwind the null characteristics of the marriage. If a spouse was unable to provide legitimate consent during the ceremony, but today is able to give cognitive consent, the marriage can become a valid one. That would depend on the spouse that has grounds for an annulment. S/he could reject the horse once it is out of the barn, so to speak, and proceed with annulment, and could prevail.

To process an annulment, one party must file the proper annulment petition, have their spouse served, and then attend a hearing before a judge. At the hearing, you must present evidence to support your claim that the marriage should be null and void. Your evidence must conform with one of more of the accepted grounds stated above. If the request for annulment is uncontested (your spouse chooses not to respond, or is in agreement with the annulment), the judge would likely grant the request.

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