An annulment is similar to a divorce because it ends a marriage. It differs from a divorce because an annulment erases or annuls the marriage (it is as if the marriage never happened).
Grounds for Annulment:
- Bigamy: When, at the time of the marriage, at least one party was married to another spouse.
- Incest: When the parties to the marriage are related by blood.
- Duress: When at least one party was forced to enter into the marriage due to a threat of serious violence.
- Incapacity: When at least one party lacks the mental capacity to make an informed decision at the time of the marriage. For example, a party could file for an annulment based upon incapacity if he or she was married on a whim, when he or she was severely intoxicated.
- Impotence: When one party was impotent at the time of the marriage, and the other party was unaware of same.
- Nonage: When one party to the marriage was under the age of 18 on the date of the marriage.
- Fraud that affects the essence of the marriage. An example of this is when one party lies about his or her desire to have children before the marriage, and then refuses to have children subsequent to the marriage.