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Idaho Annulments
Annulments in Idaho

Idaho annulments are described in Code Section32-201-207, 501 to 503.

Grounds

In Idaho, the grounds for annulment are:

  • Underage: A person may petition for an annulment if he or she married under the legal age of consent (which is 18 in Idaho) and did not have the permission of parents or guardian. A parent or guardian may petition for an annulment within four years of the underage person reaching the age of consent; unless after attaining the age of consent, such party for any time freely cohabits with the other as husband or wife.
  • Bigamy: if a party discovers and proves his or her partner is already married, a petition for annulment can be filed at any time as long as the spouse is still alive.
  • Mental incompetence: If either partner is of unsound mind--which might include intoxication or drugs or suffering from impaired judgment at the time of the marriage -- the court can grant an annulment as long as the parties do not cohabit freely once sound mind is restored. Either party, or a relative or guardian of the unsound party may file for an annulment.
  • Fraud: If one spouse committed fraud on his or her partner, the other can file for an annulment. Fraud includes concealing an STD, true sexual orientation, sterility, or a criminal history. The victim partner cannot file for an annulment, however, if he or she continues to live freely with the other spouse after discovering the truth.
  • Force: If one spouse agreed to the marriage because the other spouse used force to obtain the consent, an annulment may be filed unless the victim spouse freely chooses to remain with the perpetrator. The court considers factors including age, mental capacity and the type of force.
  • Physical incapability: If one spouse cannot engage in sexual activity due to physical incapacity present at the time of marriage - for example, impotence - and the problem appears permanent, the other can file for an annulment.

The courts must award custody of children in fraud or force-based annulments to the innocent parent, which means the parent who was lied to or abused. Moreover, Idaho courts may require the guilty parent - the parent who exerted forced or perpetrated the fraud - to pay for the children's education and maintenance.

Annulled partners cannot claim to be surviving spouses.

An annulment makes the parties single people who can remarry. In Idaho, the children "are legitimate and succeed to the estate of both parents," which means that they enjoy the same rights as the children of parents who are married or divorcing. The only exception is if the annulment was based on the fraud that the wife was pregnant with another man's child at the time of marriage. The Idaho court makes necessary orders for the support of said child or children as the circumstances and surroundings of the parents may require"; therefore, the court will order child support, custody, and visitation.

Here are the timelines for filing for an annulment:

  • When age of consent is an issue, the minor must file for annulment within four years of achieving the age of consent. Alternatively, a parent or guardian must file at any time before the minor reaches the age of legal consent.
  • When bigamy is an issue, either spouse can file for annulment during the life of the other.
  • When mental competency is an issue, the healthy spouse, or a relative or guardian of the sick spouse, must file at any time before either spouse dies.
  • When fraud is an issue, the defrauded spouse has to file for annulment within four years of learning about the fraud.
  • When force is an issue, the wronged spouse must file for annulment within four years after the marriage.
  • When physical incapacity is an issue, the healthy spouse must file for annulment within four years after the marriage.

Procedure

The appellant files a petition for annulment, which explains the legal basis for the annulment and advances reasons why the court should grant it. The petitioner must file in the county court of residence and must prove that the grounds for filing for an annulment are legally appropriate.

Idaho lacks statutory authority to award alimony or divide property or debts as part of an annulment case. The spouses can work out a property agreement designed to restore them to the financial position they were in before the annulment.

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