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A marriage annulment in this state is a decree declaring an already null marriage void. After you file a petition in the court, the marriage annulment (sometimes called a marital annulment) in West Virginia takes about 60 days or more to process. One must file a petition in court, requesting an annulment, and be prepared to prove at least one ground for annulment. West Virginia grounds for annulment include:
- Fraud – When a person has misrepresented him or herself or gained your consent for marriage by fraud, you can get your marriage annulled. The fraud must be so egregious that had it been known prior to marriage, the ceremony would never taken place. Living together after the fraud is known invalidates the use of this ground for annulment.
- Force or Coercion – a partner was forced or threatened to marry. This condition must have been present on the wedding day, but if it later ended and the coerced partner continues to live with the other spouse, the ability to file using this ground is lost.
- Incest – marrying someone too closely related is a grounds for annulment
- Underage – This state permits marriage between persons age 18 and higher, or age 16 with parental or guardian consent. Persons under age 16 can marry with parental or guardian consent and with permission from a circuit court judge.
- Mental Illness – if your spouse is mentally ill and the illness is incurable, the court may grant a West Virginia annulment, and
- Bigamy – Being married to a living person while marrying another.
- Impotence – the condition must have been known at the time of the marriage. Living together after the condition is discovered negates the use of impotence as a ground.
To begin the process, file a Complaint For Annulment in a county Family Court clerk’s office. You will detail the specifics of both spouses (names, addresses, social security numbers, etc.), when and where you last lived together, and that you have established residency (at least one year in this state). Any children from the marriage must be identified by name, date of birth and home address. Grounds for annulment must be claimed. If you request that the court rule on child custody, child support, alimony, visitation or the division of assets, you must so request.
A copy of the complaint must be served on your spouse. Once completed, the court will schedule a hearing, where you must provide evidence (and witnesses, if necessary) that supports your claim to an annulment. The court will determine the validity of your argument(s), and will grant an annulment if it agrees with your overall assertions.
[West Virginia Code – Sections: 42-1-7; 48-1-101; 48-3-103; 48-2-302]
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