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What is an Annulment?


Annulments are uncommon in Pennsylvania. If the court grants an annulment, the marriage is declared to be invalid. Legally, that means the marriage never existed. A divorce ends the marriage, but does not invalidate it.

Certain grounds must be met in order to obtain an  annulment. The marriage must be void or voidable. Either party to a void or voidable marriage may bring an action in annulment to have the marriage declared void. A void marriage is one that is invalid from the inception. A voidable marriage is one that might have a defect in its validity but may still continue to exist if both spouses want to remain married.

Some Grounds for annulment of void marriages

The marriage may be deemed void in the following circumstances:

  • Where either party at the time of the marriage had an existing spouse and the former marriage had not been terminated prior to the marriage.
  • Where the parties to the marriage are closely related by blood, such as being first cousins.
  • Where either party to the marriage was incapable of consenting by reason of insanity or serious mental disorder or otherwise lacked capacity to consent or did not intend to consent to the marriage.

Some Grounds for annulment of voidable marriages

The marriage of a person may be deemed voidable in the following circumstances:

  • Where either party to the marriage was under the legal age of consent.
  • Where either party to the marriage was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the marriage ceremony to the extent that they did not have the capacity to enter into the marriage.
  • Where either party to the marriage was at the time of the marriage and still is naturally and incurably impotent.
  • Where one party was induced to enter into the marriage due to fraud, duress, coercion or force attributable to the other party.

Contact a Pittsburgh Family Law Attorney Today

If you believe your case might be right for an annulment, contact us today. Our experienced Pittsburgh divorce attorneys will explain both the process of getting an annulment and a divorce, in order to determine which one is appropriate for your case. Reach out to us today at Bunde & Roberts, P.C. for help.

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