I was just married and now realize it was a mistake. What are the requirements for getting an annulment in Massachusetts?
An annulment is distinguished from a divorce. An annulment is not a dissolution of the marriage but is a judicial declaration that no marriage exists between the parties. Because of the imporance to society in insuring stability and regularity in what appears to be a valid marriage the American courts have recognized a presumption that marriages of record are valid until shown otherwise. The statutory grounds for annulment of a marriage are set forth in Massachusetts General Laws chapter 207 and include incest and bigamy. Another ground is mental incompetence: a person who is so mentally incompetent that he or she has no capacity to understand the nature of the marital contract and knowingly consent to it cannot validly marry. Marriage is also likely voidable in Massachusetts on the ground of impotency, meaning the non-impotent spouse could obtain an annulment of a marriage to a person who is unable to have sexual intercourse. Marriage is also voidable on grounds of Fraud going to the essence of the marriage. The most obvious example of this would be a woman who is pregnant by another man and conceals that fact from her husband at the time of the marriage. Another ground for annulment would be when a person has been compelled to enter a marriage by duress sufficient to overcome their free choice in the matter. As you can see there are very specific grounds for obtaining an annulment. Simply realizing that one made a mistake is generally not recognizable as a valid ground for anulling a marriage. If you would like to discuss an annulment of your marriage in more detail please contact our office and we would be happy to discuss your legal rights.
Riddle & Associates’ criminal defense lawyers serve the Central Massachusetts region including the areas of Lunenburg, Leominster, Fitchburg, Worcester, Gardner, Clinton, Bolton, Lancaster, Berlin, Acton, Concord, Greenfield, West Boylston, Marlborough, Northborough, Westborough, Groton, Shirley, Pepperell, Townsend, Ashby, Winchendon, Ashburnham, Templeton, Princeton, Ayer, Harvard, Worcester County, Middlesex County, Franklin County and surrounding communities in Massachusetts.
RIDDLE & ASSOCIATES, ATTORNEYS AT LAW
Worcester County Criminal Defense Lawyers
603 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 2