Under some certain circumstances in marriage, a court can grant a marriage annulment that means the marriage between a male and female is terminated. It is also treated as if it never took place. Although a legal declaration of nullity is required to establish this.
Annulment is a legal procedure that declares a marriage null and void. If some specific legal requirements were not met at the time of the marriage, a marriage can be declared null and void, even the marriage is considered to have never existed legally. While a divorce dissolves a marriage that has existed, a marriage that is annulled never existed at all.
The circumstances under which a marriage is treated as annulled are called "grounds." There are few grounds based on which one may qualify for an annulment, if at the time of the marriage:
1) One was under the age which is required for marriage i.e. males must be 21 and females must be 18 and one did not thereafter live with his/her spouse in a husband-wife relationship. This type of annulment case must be brought within two years after one attain the legal age for marriage.
2) One of the spouses was legally married and the spouse from the other marriage is still in existence.
3) One of the spouses had been declared incompetent.
4) The marriage consent of either spouse was obtained by fraud. For example, consent may be obtained by fraud when a spouse falsely represents his/her identity or gender. In this case, the annulment action must be filed within two years after discovery of the facts.
5) The marriage consent of either spouse was obtained by force, unless afterward they lived together as husband and wife. Such an annulment action must be taken within two years of the date of the marriage.
6) The marriage was consummated or failed to have physical relations at any time after the marriage ceremony. Here also, the annulment action must be filed within two years of the date of the marriage.
7) The marriage is prohibited due to blood relationship between the parties. The most common legal relationship is 2nd cousins.
8) One of the parties concealed a prior criminal record, drug addiction or having a sexually transmitted disease.
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