An annulment is a legal process to end a marriage. An annulment is different from a divorce, however. An annulment treats the marriage as if it never took place.
In Minnesota, a marriage may be annulled under any of the following circumstances:
- One party lacked capacity to voluntarily consent to the marriage. The inability to consent could be due to mental incapacity or infirmity, and the other party did not know this at the time of the marriage ceremony. The lack of consent could be due to the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other incapacitating substances. The consent could have been involuntary because it was obtained by force or fraud, and the parties did not subsequently voluntarily cohabitate.
- One party lacks the physical capacity to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse and the other party did not know this at the time of the marriage ceremony.
- One of the parties was under the legal age for marriage. If otherwise competent, a person who is 18 years of age may enter into a civil marriage. A person who is 16 years of age may be able to enter into a valid marriage with parental consent and judicial approval.
In addition, the seeking of an annulment must be commenced within certain time limits, depending upon the underlying circumstances. Anyone interested in seeking an annulment of marriage should consult with an attorney for a more detailed explanation of the annulment process.