The 6 Grounds for Annulment in Alabama

When people get married, they typically intend for it to last the rest of their life. If this becomes impossible, you may think that divorce is your only option. While divorce is by far the most common way a marriage is ended, an annulment may be a better choice, if you can qualify. In the state of Alabama, annulments are only permitted in a handful of different situations. This is because an annulment doesn’t technically end a marriage, but rather declares that the marriage never existed in the first place. It states that what appeared to be a marriage was null due to one or more reasons. Learn more about the most common grounds for an annulment in Alabama and see if you can qualify.

Fraudulent Relationship

A fraudulent relationship is one where one of the spouses has lied about something that is central to the marriage. For example, if after the wedding one of the parties says that they want to remain celibate forever, but they had not revealed that prior to the wedding, it would be considered a fraudulent marriage. This is because the sexual component of the relationship is considered to be a critical aspect. Another example would be if one of the parties revealed that they were only getting married in order to gain citizenship and they don’t intend to live together.

Underage Marriage

If it is discovered that one of the parties is underage (below 18) and didn’t have parental consent, the marriage can likely be annulled. If you got married while your spouse was underage, but that was many years ago, however, this may not be considered a valid reason for an annulment any longer.

Incestuous Marriage

Incest is illegal in Alabama, and therefore any marriages contracted between close relatives (parents, siblings, etc) it is invalid from the start. Whether you were aware of the close family relationship or not, an incestuous marriage can often be annulled.

Concealed Sexually Transmitted Disease

Alabama courts have declared marriages null when it was discovered that one of the spouses knowingly hid an incurable STD prior to the marriage. This is not always going to guarantee an annulment is possible, but if the STD is discovered very soon after the wedding, it may be an option.

Marriage of Coercion

Marriage must be entered into freely, so if one of the parties (or an outside third party) is forcing someone to get married, it is likely invalid. This coercion can be in the form of threats of violence, psychological abuse, or other types of force. You must be able to prove that you entered the marriage under duress in order to qualify for an annulment.

Bigamous Marriages

If one of the parties was already married, they are not permitted to enter into another marriage and therefore any attempt would be invalid. If you discover that your presumed-spouse was already in a valid marriage, you can likely qualify for an annulment.

Speak to an Attorney Today

Annulments can be quite complicated, and while they are preferable in some cases, there are also times when a divorce is the best course of action. If you believe you may qualify for an annulment, please contact attorney John M. Totten today to schedule a consultation.

Written by John M. Totten

John M. Totten

John's office is in Athens, Alabama, where he has helped thousands of people in North Alabama with everything from family law issues, to catastrophic injury and death cases, to criminal defense.