Frequently Asked Questions about Annulment of Marriage in South Dakota
What is an annulment of marriage in South Dakota?
Sometimes, individuals confuse a divorce of marriage with an annulment of marriage in South Dakota, and it’s not hard to see why. Both are opportunities for individuals to escape from legal relationships that are no longer working. However, if annulment has the same practical purpose as divorce, it is philosophically very different. A divorce will simply end a marriage, but an annulment of marriage in South Dakota means that the marriage was never valid to begin with.
Who can get an annulment of marriage in South Dakota?
There are several grounds for annulment of marriage in South Dakota, but keep in mind that all of them have to do with the foundation for the marriage, not with the conduct of either party during the marriage.
1. Bigamy: Most individuals think of bigamy as a man living with two or more wives, but when bigamy occurs today, it is usually because one partner failed to get an official divorce from a previous marriage.
2. Unsound Mind: Unsound mind refers to an inability to make sound decisions on one’s own, and usually refers to a sufferer of mental illness. A person who is found to be of unsound mind should have a legal guardian to prevent such occurrences in the future.
3. Underage Marriage: If either partner was under the age of consent and did not have parental approval for the marriage, then the marriage can be annulled. The one restriction is that for an annulment of marriage in South Dakota under these grounds, the lawsuit must be filed within four years of the underage partner reaching the age of majority.
4. Use of Force: No marriage can be considered legitimate if one partner was literally forced or coerced into the marriage.
5. Physical Incapacity: This is the legal world’s polite term for impotence, which is grounds enough for any annulment so long as it appears to be incurable.
How do I file for annulment of marriage in South Dakota?
In order to get an annulment of marriage in South Dakota, you should follow these simple steps:
1. Make sure that the statute of limitations has not expired. In most cases, this means that you are filing for annulment of marriage in South Dakota within four years of the actual marriage, but there are two exceptions: underage marriage, in which it is four years from reaching the age of majority, and bigamy, in which case there is a lifetime-long annulment period.
2. File a complaint with your county’s South Dakota circuit court.
3. Serve the complaint on your soon-to-be ex-spouse. You spouse may choose to challenge the annulment of marriage in South Dakota, in which case they will send you and the court a formal response.
4. A hearing will be scheduling during which the judge in your case will determine you and your spouse’s annulment.