In Massachusetts getting an annulment is very difficult.  An annulment is not just because the marriage was short. There has to be some significant legal criteria for you to meet in order to potentially get an annulment and the party can contest the annulment. So nearly all cases are divorces rather than annulments.  There are some ways to get an annulment; which will be in another blog post.

The criteria for an annulment are whether it is void and that means that it is not a valid marriage and the state would not approve of the marriage; or the state will allow the marriage and that would be called the “voidable marriage”.  A Void Marriage is if for example if you were married to someone else and your other spouse did not know it, it is called “bigamy” but there has to be no knowledge by the other spouse.  Another way to void it is if there are certain close relatives or close relatives by marriage and there are specifics of it, but a variety of people that you are not allowed to marry such as parents, step-parents, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, children, grandchildren and others.

Voidable marriage are marriages again that are allowed by the state but can become void if one spouse did not have the mental capacity to consent to the marriage at the time.  Again, it is fairly limited but there can be some intoxication or mentally ill issues.  Another way it can be voidable is if one of the parties is not physically capable of sexual intercourse. Another one might be if one of the spouses was not old enough to get married and in Massachusetts you have to have permission from the parents and the court if you are under 18 years old.

The most common attempt to get an annulment is if there is an alleged fraud involved in getting married.  That is not just dealing with issues such as some financial issues and things of that nature; or someone has ulterior motive for entering the marriage.  A common one is immigration reasons but instead of marrying for love a lot of what would be considered fraudulent acts won’t be grounds for annulment, if you knew or should have known of the fraud it won’t be granted.