An annulment of marriage is a legal decree that a marriage is null and void. Annulments are granted when a court makes a finding a marriage is invalid. While a divorce ends a legally valid marriage, an annulment treats the marriage as if it never existed.
Marriage is necessarily the basis of social organization and the foundation of important legal rights and obligations. In Hindu Law, Marriage is treated as a Samaskara or a Sacrament. Divorce, however is a thorny question and Annulment is a very unusual remedy. In our modern world, an Annulment tends to be more a creature of religion than of law. Annulments are rarely granted and when they are, very specific circumstances must exist.
What Is Annulment Of Marriage
In strict Legal terminology, annulment refers only to making a voidable marriage null;if the marriage is void ab initio, then it is automatically null, although a legal declaration of nullity is required to establish this.
Annulment is a legal procedure for declaring a marriage null and void. With the exception of bigamy and not meeting the minimum age requirement for marriage, it is rarely granted. A marriage can be declared null and void if certain legal requirements were not met at the time of the marriage. If these legal requirements were not met then the marriage is considered to have never existed in the eyes of the law. This process is called annulment. It is very different from divorce in that while a divorce dissolves a marriage that has existed, a marriage that is annulled never existed at all. Thus unlike divorce, it is retroactive: an annulled marriage is considered never to have existed.
Grounds For Annulment
The grounds for a marriage annulment may vary according to the different legal jurisdictions, but are generally limited to fraud, bigamy, blood relationship and mental incompetence including the following:
1.Either spouse was already married to someone else at the time of the marriage in question;
2.Either spouse was too young to be married, or too young without required court or parental consent. (In some cases, such a marriage is still valid if it continues well beyond the younger spouse’s reaching marriageable age);
3.Either spouse was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the marriage;
4.Either spouse was mentally incompetent at the time of the marriage;
5.If the consent to the marriage was based on fraud or force;
6.Either spouse was physically incapable to be married (typically, chronically unable to have sexual intercourse) at the time of the marriage;
7.The marriage is prohibited by law due to the relationship between the parties. This is the “prohibited degree of consanguinity”, or blood relationship between the parties. The most common legal relationship is 2nd cousins; the legality of such relationship between 1st cousins varies around the world.
8.Prisoners sentenced to a term of life imprisonment may not marry.
9.Concealment (e.g. one of the parties concealed a drug addiction, prior criminal record or having a sexually transmitted disease).