If you are considering ending your marriage, perhaps for social or religious reasons you may be considering an annulment. Unlike divorce, annulment makes it as though the marriage never occurred. However, while divorces can be obtained on a no-fault basis in Kentucky, the grounds for annulment are limited and time-restricted, and they can require a more complex factual hearing than a no-fault divorce. Additionally, the availability of alimony and the division of marital property changes when a marriage is annulled, in contrast to when a couple divorces. Speak with a family law attorney as soon as possible if you wish to annul your marriage in Kentucky.
The available bases for annulment in Kentucky include:
- Bigamy: One spouse was still in a valid marriage when the second marriage took place.
- Underage: One or both spouses was either under 16, or over 16 but under 18 and lacking parental consent. Exceptions exist where the couple is pregnant.
- Incompetence: One of the spouses has been deemed by a judge to be mentally disabled.
- Incapacity: One spouse was so intoxicated from alcohol or drugs, or by mental incapacity, that they were unable to truly consent to the marriage.
- Duress: One spouse was threatened with physical harm if they did not marry the other spouse.
- Fraud: A spouse was deceitful about an issue essential to marriage, such as their desire to have children, or a pregnancy fabricated to convince someone to marry.
- Incest: The spouses are more closely related than second cousins.
- Physical incapacity: One spouse was physically unable to consummate the marriage or was unable to have children, and the other spouse did not realize this before entering the marriage.
If you believe your marriage is eligible for annulment, be sure that you act quickly. For annulments based on fraud, duress, physical or mental incapacity, or incompetence, a spouse has 90 days from the date of learning of the condition to file for an annulment. A spouse may file for an annulment within one year of learning that the marriage was bigamous, incestuous, or one or more parties was a minor without appropriate parental consent. However, if the annulment is based on the parties being underage, then such an annulment is only available where the spouses have not cohabited after their 18th birthdays.
If you are considering annulment in Kentucky, or are facing another family law issue such as a custody dispute or divorce, contact the knowledgeable Florence family law attorneys at Greta Hoffman & Associates for a consultation on your case, at 859-371-2227.