North Dakota Divorce Guide

Annulment

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When a North Dakota court declares a marriage annulment, they are declaring a marriage void and illegal. A marriage annulment must be petitioned to the court in the same manner as divorce and separations are. Your partner must be served. The burden of proof is greater for an annulment than it is for a divorce. In order to be granted a petition for annulment, one must cite and prove one of the following grounds for annulment:

  • The party filing the petition was under age at the time of the marriage, or was of such age as to require the consent of the party’s parents or guardian and such marriage was contracted without such consent, unless, after attaining legal age, such party freely cohabited with the other as husband or wife. When a couple marries while underage and continues to live together after both turn age 18, the underage ground for annulment cannot be used.
  • Fraud & Duress – a spouse has given consent for the marriage under a threat or duress. When one spouse discovers that they were fraudulently enticed to marry, and continues to live with that spouse for 4 years or more, the claim of fraud as a ground for annulment may not be used.
  • Bigamy – a married person enters into another marriage without benefit of divorce from his or her prior spouse
  • Force – consent of either party was obtained by force, unless such party afterwards freely cohabited with the other as husband or wife
  • Mental illness – an unsound mind; and the spouse isn’t likely to recover, and
  • Physical disability – unable to consummate the marriage
  • The marriage was incestuous
Limitations of time (statutes of limitation):
  • For underage consent – an action must be brought within 4 years after arriving at the age of consent, or by the party’s parents or guardian at any time before such party has arrived at the age of legal consent
  • Bigamy – For causes by either party during the life of the other, or by such former husband or wife
  • Mental Illness – For causes by the party injured, or a relative or guardian of the party of unsound mind, at any time before the death of either party
  • Fraud and Duress – For causes by the party injured, within four years after the discovery of the facts constituting the fraud
  • By Force or Physical disability – For causes by the injured party, within four years after the marriage
  • Incestuous – At any time

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[North Dakota Family Law Statutes (Century Code) – 14-14-01]

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