Annulment is the legal process of having your marriage declared null and void. In contrast to divorce, annulment works retroactively, which means that once your marriage is annulled it is as if you were never married initially. There are a variety of reasons why you may want to have your marriage annulled rather than getting a divorce. Regardless of why you seek an annulment, you can typically only receive one if your marriage meets certain criteria. This article explains under what conditions you can obtain an annulment in Oklahoma.
Grounds For an Annulment in Oklahoma
In order to obtain an annulment in Oklahoma, your marriage must meet one of the following criteria:
- Age – either party was under the legal age for marriage.
- Mental capacity – either party lacks the mental capacity to understand what he or she was doing.
- Fraud – either party was persuaded to marry under fraudulent circumstances.
The grounds for an annulment in Oklahoma are limited and primarily concerned with the mental capacity and good faith of the parties at the time they entered into the marriage contract. You cannot obtain an annulment simply because you have only been married a short time, or because the marriage has not been consummated.
Bars to Obtaining an Annulment in Oklahoma
You cannot obtain an annulment in Oklahoma if the circumstances that made the marriage voidable in the first place no longer exist. For example, if either of the parties was under age at the time they got married and an annulment is sought after that party has reached legal marrying age, you will be barred from obtaining an annulment on those grounds.
In another example, if you remarry within six months after being divorced, your marriage will be considered legally voidable in Oklahoma; however, if you wait to file for an annulment until after the six month period has expired, the marriage will no longer be voidable and you will be barred from obtaining an annulment on those grounds.
Can I Obtain an Annulment in Another State?
If your marriage satisfies one of the state’s recognized grounds for annulment, you may bring a court action to obtain an annulment in Oklahoma. But because Oklahoma only recognizes a limited number of grounds for annulment, your chances of actually obtaining an annulment are slim. However, in the same manner that a person can be married or divorced in any state, you may obtain an annulment in any other state in which you are better qualified. You should recognize, though, that you must then meet the legal requirements for annulment in the state in which you want to have your marriage annulled.
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