Maine Info

Maine Divorce Start Your Divorce Find Professionals Maine Articles Divorce Facts Divorce Grounds Residency Divorce Laws Mediation/Counseling Divorce Process Legal Separation Annulments Property Division Alimony Child Custody Child Support Divorce Forms Process Service Grandparent Rights Forum Maine Products Divorce by County

Maine Articles

Attorney Relationship Custody & Visitation Collaborative Law Divorce/General Mediation SEE ALL

Info Categories

Contemplating Divorce Children & Divorce Divorce, Dollars & Debt Divorce Laws Divorce Process Divorce Negotiation SEE ALL

More Information

Articles Checklists Research Center Cases of Interest Dictionary Encyclopedia Encyclopedia (pop-up) Blogs

For Professionals

Advertise With Us Free Network Page Join Our Network Submit Articles Case Management Sign In

Network Sites

Maine Divorce Support Maine Divorce Online

Maine Annulments
Annulments in Maine

An annulment of marriage is not the same as a divorce. In a divorce, one or both spouses petition the probate and family court to end a valid marriage; in an annulment, one or both of the parties must prove that their marriage was never valid or that the marriage should be voided because it is not legal. In Maine, a voidable marriage is binding and legal if the parties remain married.

Maine courts rarely grant annulments unless the petitioner clearly demonstrates that the marriage is fraudulent or invalid. If the petition for an annulment is successful, the court erases the marriage by treating the union as nonexistent. 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.

The Maine Revised Statutes, Title 19-A, Chapter 23, describes Maine annulment law. Maine law permits either party to file an action for an annulment of marriage; moreover, it also allows one of the parties to institute an action for affirming the marriage.

An annulment of marriage is a formal means of terminating a union. Grounds for annulments of marriage vary, but typically involve one spouse’s lack of capacity for marriage or some sort of fraud at the time of the marriage. Annulments are difficult to prove and have adjudicated.

Grounds

Maine recognizes the following grounds for annulment:

  • Consanguinity: The spouses are first cousins or closer. Maine considers any relationship 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) as incestuous.
  • Bigamy: one spouse has another living spouse at the time of marriage.
  • Mental Incapacitation: One spouse is mentally ill or mentally incapacitated.
  • Underage marriage: A spouse may secure an annulment of marriage if it is proven that at the time of the marriage, one of the spouses was below the age of majority.
  • Fraud: If one partner defrauded the other into getting married, a spouse may claim fraud.
  • Impotence: A spouse may secure an annulment if it is proven, that at the time of the marriage, one of the spouses was impotent.

Some grounds for annulment have additional rules:

  • Two related people who are first cousins or closer cannot have a valid marriage, but if they are first cousins, and go through genetic counseling with a doctor, they can get legally married. In this case, the marriage can’t later be annulled.
  • If one spouse is mentally ill or incapacitated so that he or she cannot understand marriage, the marriage may be annulled. However, when a spouse is mentally ill or incapacitated at the time of the marriage but had the ability to make a responsible decision at the time of marriage, that marriage may not be annulled.
  • A person under the age of 18 but above the age of 16 must have parental consent to get married. A person under the age of 16 has to have both parental andjudicial consent to legally get married. If the underage spouse had the proper consent at the time of marriage, they cannot have the marriage annulled later for being underage.

Marriages where one spouse defrauded the other to get married are very difficult to annul. The plaintiff needs overwhelming evidence of a major fraud. Marriages annulled for impotence are also very rare.

When an annulment is granted, it means the spouses were never legally married. Both spouses can say that they never had a legal marriage.

In Maine, the partners may ask the court to divide their marital property when their marriage is annulled.

A marriage can still be annulled if children were born during the marriage. In Maine, unless one spouse can prove that he or she is not the child’s parent, the children of an annulled marriage are considered legitimate, meaning both parents have a continuing duty to financially support their children.

Procedure

The filing spouse is the plaintiff; the other spouse is the defendant. The complaint for annulment is filed in the district court for the county where the defendant lives, or in the county where the plaintiff has lived for at least 60 days. The complaint identifies the spouse who has lived in the county where the action is being filed, and the amount of time they have resided there. The complaint also states the date of the marriage, and identifies any children born of the marriage as well as the grounds for the annulment.

After filing in the district court, the plaintiff serves the defendant the annulment papers. Although a little more difficult, it is possible to serve a party even if he or she cannot be found or lives out of state.

At a hearing, the judge decides if the plaintiff has proven that the marriage should be annulled. If so, the judge will sign an order granting an annulment. The judge may also grant the annulment simply if the defendant agrees with it.

Start Maine Divorce Start Your Maine Online Divorce Today
Easy, Fast and Affordable with a 100% Guarantee.
Maine Divorce Find Maine Divorce Professionals in Your Area:
Join the Network
Maine Divorce Products, Services and Solutions Maine Divorce Products, Services and Solutions
Maine Divorce Resources to Help You Through the Process.
Online Parenting Class Maine Mandatory Online Parenting Class
Easy and convenient - complete at your own pace online.
Divorce and Custody Books Discount Divorce Bookstore
Over 100 Titles of the Best Books on Divorce & Custody.
Divorce Downloads Divorce Download Center
Instantly Download, Books, Manuals, & Forms.
Divorce Worksheet Free Maine Divorce Worksheet & Separation Agreement
Your Guide to Get Organized and Put Everything in Writing.
Divorce Lawyers & Mediators
 

Find Professionals

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:

 

Start Your Divorce File for a Maine Divorce

 

Settle Your Divorce Negotiate Your Maine Divorce

 

Support Forum Maine Support Forum

Children In Between - Online Parenting Class


FEATURED TOOL - Name Change Notification Kit (easily complete your name change without the headaches)

Guarantee Official PayPal Seal Facebook Twitter Versign Secure Site
Limited Offer Women's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"The Absolute Best Investment in Your Divorce"

Men's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"Uncover Your Options and Unleash Solutions"