New Hampshire Divorce Guide

Annulment

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Q. How does one know if they should get a marriage annulment or a divorce?
Grounds for annulment typically involve one party’s lack of capacity for marriage or some type of fraud. An annulment of a marriage in New Hampshire means that the court has determined that the marriage should never have taken place, was never valid to begin with, and returns the parties to single status. An annulment is reserved for those marriages that came together as a result of fraud, duress, prohibited by statute or one of the parties did not have the ability to understand fully what they were doing.

Q. What is the process to obtain an annulment?
One of the parties must petition the court much like you do for a separation or divorce proceeding. You must cite grounds for the annulment and have your partner served, at which time a hearing will be scheduled. The burden of proof is somewhat higher for an annulment versus an uncontested divorce, as you must provide proof of grounds for the annulment.

Q. What are the grounds for annulment?

  • Incest – Marrying someone too closely related e.g. mother-son, father-daughter, uncle-niece, and brother-sister is grounds for annulment
  • Addiction to drugs or alcohol – habitual intoxication of liquor or drugs like opium, cocaine or morphine means you can obtain an annulment
  • Same-Sex Marriage – marriages that are prohibited and such marriages can be annulled under New Hampshire annulment laws
  • Mental Incapacity – Mental Illness – If your spouse is mentally ill with little hope of improvement, you may file for an annulment, and
  • Physical Disability – At the time of marriage, if any physical disability in your spouse was/is hindering you from having a normal married life, you can obtain an annulment under New Hampshire annulment laws and
  • Underage Marriage – married while a minor

Q. We married in New Hampshire but were never legal residents of this state. We live in another state now. Can we get our marriage annulled in New Hampshire now?
Yes, courts in New Hampshire have jurisdiction to declare an annulment to a marriage that took place here, even if you are no longer residents. NH Rev Stat § 458:3

[New Hampshire Statutes – Chapters: 457: 1, 2 Chapter 458: 1,2]

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