An annulment is a proceeding similar to a divorce in that both relate to the marital status of the parties. A divorce operates to terminate the marital relationship between the parties while an annulment establishes that a martial relationship never existed.
Under the laws of the State of Alabama, a marriage is presumed to be valid and may only be annulled if it falls within very specific statutory grounds. If you do not fall within one of these statutory grounds for an annulment, you must file a petition for divorce in order to terminate the marital relationship. The statutory grounds for an annulment are below.
Incestuous Marriage: If a spouse discovers that the other spouse is a family member within a specific statutory decree of relationship then the marriage is against public policy and must be annulled.
Bigamy: At the time of the marriage, one of the parties is still married to another person the marriage is void and an annulment is proper.
Pre-marital concealment of pregnancy by another man: If a husband believes that at the time of the marriage his wife was pregnant with his child, and then later learns that the child is in fact not his, the marriage may be annulled. This constitutes fraud that goes to the heart of the marriage.
Fraudulent intent not to cohabit: If at the time of marriage, one of the spouse led the other spouse to believe that they would cohabitate and consummate the marriage but then subsequently refuses, the marriage may be annulled.
Fraudulent concealment of sexually transmitted disease: If prior to the solemnization of the marriage, a spouse learns that the other spouse was afflicted with a contagious and incurable sexually transmitted disease, the marriage may be annulled. The inflected spouse must have intentionally concealed the disease from the other spouse prior to the marriage.
Underage marriage: If one of the parties to the marriage was underage at the time of the marriage, without the consent of their parents, when the marriage may be annulled prior to the underage spouse reaching the age of majority.
Duress: If a spouse consents to marriage based on the threat of bodily harm being inflicted or a continuous threat of bodily harm, the marriage may be annulled.
Impotency: If after the marriage of the parties, and consultation with medical professionals, the wife learns that the parties are unable to consummate their marriage because the husband suffers from a pathological psychological condition, the marriage may be annulled.
If you think that you may fall within one of the above statutory grounds for an annulment and would like to pursue your options, it is vital that you obtain sound legal advice regarding your options. At Hoiles, Dasinger & Hollon, we can assist you in making these important decisions. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys, who can advise you as to what the best options are for your situation.