Like many other states, annulments require your marriage to be either void or voidable in Massachusetts. This is a difficult standard to meet, and annulments are relatively uncommon.
A void marriage is one that could not have existed in the first place because it was against the law at the time it started. There are three void marriage grounds in Massachusetts:
- Consanguinity, or having a blood relation such as brother and sister or first cousins;
- Affinity, meaning you are already related by marriage to your spouse; and
- Bigamy, which means either you or your spouse were already legally married when you purported to get married.
Additionally, there are four voidable marriage grounds.
- Fraud – if your spouse concealed some important issue from you, fraud is a voidable marriage ground. An example of this might be that you believed that you were marrying a man, but your spouse turned out to be a woman.
- Duress – this means the marriage was entered into under threat or coercion.
- Impotency – in the event, a spouse cannot perform sexually, and this knowledge was not disclosed before the marriage, the impotency ground might apply.
- Mental Illness (incapacity) – if either you or your spouse was not capable of understanding what you were doing when you married, due to mental illness or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time the marriage ceremony took place, mental incapacity is the fourth ground for a voidable marriage.
At Wright Family Law Group, we specialize in helping families through challenging times, including annulments. Find out how we can help you too. Contact us today to schedule your consultation at either our Danvers or Tewksbury offices.