Vermont Divorce Guide

Annulment

Get answers to your questions on annulment or divorce

This state subdivides the process of annulment by categorizing marriages eligible for annulment into voidable or void marriages. Marriages that are voidable include:

  • At the time of the marriage, either party was less than 16 years old
  • Mentally incompetent (regrettably the State uses the terms “an idiot or lunatic”)
  • Physical incapacitation
  • When the consent of either party was obtained by force or fraud

Marriages that were void at the moment of marriage, and do not require a judgement of divorce or other legal process:

  • Marrying a relative too closely related by blood (closer than 1st cousins)
  • At the time of the marriage, either party had a living husband or wife

Void marriages are void if the marriage was solemnized in this state. It is generally recommended that if you have a void marriage, you should consider getting an annulment just to be certain it has been laid to rest. Providing proof of the nullity will get you a declaration of void by a decree of nullity.

finger pointing rightLooking for divorce forms? All divorce or separation processes require that you gather all relevant forms, fill them out correctly and file the forms as directed by the court. The most efficient way to get them in front of you is to download the divorce forms, complete with instructions that hand-hold you through the process.
Time restrictions:

Underage – a complaint may be brought by the parent or guardian of an underage wedded child providing that the action is brought before the child reaches the age of majority (age 18). Once the child reaches age 18, s/he may not file for an annulment, nor if the married person reaches age 18 and continues to cohabit with the other spouse.

Mentally incompetent – When a civil marriage is sought to be annulled on the ground of the idiocy of one of the parties, it may be declared void on the complaint of a relative of such idiot at any time during the life of either of the parties. Should a relative seek an annulment due to the mental incompetency of one of the parties, the marriage may be declared void during the continuance of such lunacy, or after the death of the lunatic and during the lifetime of the other party to the marriage.

Physical incapacitation – A suit to annul a civil marriage on the ground of the physical incapacity of one of the parties shall be maintained only by the injured party against the party whose incapacity is alleged and shall be brought within two years from the solemnization of the marriage.

Force or fraud – may be annulled during the lifetime of the parties, or one of them, on the ground that the consent of one of the parties was obtained by force or fraud, on the complaint of the party whose consent was so obtained or of the parent or guardian of such party or of some relative interested to contest the validity of the marriage.



File Annulment Papers

To begin the process, file your Annulment Papers in the Superior Court for the county where you or your spouse lives. You or your spouse must have lived in that county for at least the last 6 months. Within the paperwork, you must provide details (name, address, date of birth, etc.) about yourself, your spouse, when and where you got married, the grounds for the annulment, and whether or not you want the court to decide issues surrounding child support, child custody, visitation, alimony or the division of assets.

You must serve your spouse with a copy of your complaint. Once that is done, the court will schedule a hearing, where you must present evidence (and witnesses if necessary) that support your contentions. If the court believes your presentation is compelling enough, it will issue an annulment of your marriage.

If there is a chance your Ex will try to manipulate you or the kids with the visitation schedule, put an on-line Parenting Plan in place. Nothing stops the game-playing like a schedule in black and white. Simply tell your Ex that in order for the schedule to be changed, it must be discussed and agreed to; otherwise it is not changing.

[Vermont Statutes – Title 15 – Section 511, et seq.; 15-1,2,3,4]

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