What is an Annulment of Marriage?
An annulment of marriage is a formal means of terminating a union. Annulments are different from separations or divorces; annulments nullify the marriage to treat the formation as though it never existed. An annulment views the marriage as non-existent; the presiding court will declare the marriage to have never taken place in the first place. Annulments are typically desired for religious couples who view divorce as sin or for those couples who got married in haste.
To secure an annulment of marriage, the individual seeking the action must maintain sufficient grounds for an annulment. Grounds for annulments of marriage vary by state, but typically involve one spouse’s lack of capacity for marriage or some sort of fraud at the time of the marriage.
Can I Get an Annulment of Marriage in ME?
As in many other states, married parties in Maine can assume an annulment through the filing of a Complaint for Annulment at their local probate and family court. As stated above, an annulment of marriage in Maine is a legal decree to nullify the validity of a marriage. Annulments of marriage in Maine must be legally petitioned for, and as a general rule, are difficult to prove and have adjudicated. To file for annulments of marriage in Maine, a spouse must claim one of the following grounds:
• Annulment of Marriage in ME : Fraud: To secure an annulment of marriage in Maine, a spouse may claim fraud. Annulments of marriage in Maine will be granted under this ground if it can be proven that one of the spouses misrepresented him or herself to obtain consent for marriage.
• Annulment of Marriage in ME : Mental Incapacitation: According to annulments of marriage in Maine law, a spouse may be entitled to an annulment if the other spouse is deemed mentally incapacitated by the court.
• Annulment of Marriage in ME : Underage Marriages: A spouse may secure an annulment of marriage in Maine if it is proven, that at the time of the marriage, one of the spouses was below the age of majority.
• Annulment of Marriage in ME : Impotency: A spouse may secure an annulment of marriage in Maine if it is proven, that at the time of the marriage, one of the spouses was impotent
• Annulment of Marriage in ME : Consanguinity: Spouses may secure annulments of marriage if they engage in a wedding to a close relative. Maine annulment laws deem a marital relationship as any that is made between full-blooded or half-blooded relatives. I.e. marriages with natural parents, children, grandchildren, grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces, stepparents, stepchildren, adoptive parents, brothers, half brothers, sisters, half-sisters and/or nephews.
Annulments of marriage in Maine are governed by Maine General Laws Chapter 207, Section 14; this statute allows either party to file an action for an annulment of marriage in Maine. Moreover, this statute also allows one of the parties to institute an action for affirming the marriage.
It must be stated: courts in Maine rarely grant annulments of marriage in Maine, unless the petitioner (individual filing for an annulment of marriage in Maine) can clearly demonstrate that the marriage is fraudulent or invalid. An annulment of marriage in Maine is not the same as a divorce. With a divorce filing, one or both spouses petition the probate and family court to terminate their valid marriage. Whereas with an annulment of marriage in Maine, one or both of the parties must seek to prove that their marriage was never valid or that the marriage should be voided because it is not legally recognizable. A voidable marriage is deemed binding and legal if the parties opt to remain married.
In either of the aforementioned instances, if the petition for an annulment of marriage in ME is successful, the party will literally undo their marriage by treating their union as non-existent. With a void marriage, the parties do not need to petition the state court, because—by definition of marriage law—they were never legally married.