An annulment is a divorce action seeking to declare a marriage as null and void. There are two types of marriages that can be annulled, void marriages, which are void at their inception, and voidable marriages, which can be voided only by a court judgment.
Grounds for filing for an annulment are as follows:
- That the former husband or wife of one of the parties was living at the time of the remarriage and the prior marriage was still in full force and effect.
- That one or both of the parties had not attained the age of legal consent (age 18), which may be maintained by the minor child, or by either parent of the minor child, or by the guardian of the minor child's person; or the court may allow the action to be maintained by any person as the next friend of the minor child.
- If one of the parties to the marriage is an individual with an intellectual disability.
- If one of the parties was physically incapable of entering into the marriage.
- If the consent of one of the parties to the marriage was obtained by force or duress.
- If one of the parties to the marriage has been incurably mentally ill for a period of five years or more.
For all annulments, the record of the marriage itself remains on record, as does the annulment. Furthermore, despite an annulment, any children born during an annulled marriage are legitimate. In addition, the court is authorized to make every other award that is available in a divorce action, including custody, child support, maintenance, equitable distribution, and payment of attorney and expert fees.