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Mississippi Annulments
Annulments in Mississippi

In Mississippi, courts grant annulments in limited situations.

Mississippi Annotated Code Title 93, Chapters 1 and 7, describe the law governing annulment of marriage. General provisions for annulments of marriages in Mississippi are located in Section 93-7-3.

When a marriage is annulled, it never existed; the couple was never married. Children of an annulled marriage are still legitimate children, however the children of an incestuous marriage are not. When children are legitimate, the partners may seek court orders on child custody, visitation and child support, and the court may divide marital property and award monetary support, which is similar to alimony.

If partners do not live together after they are married, either spouse may seek an annulment; however, if the partners live together - and consummates the marriage - they may not annul the marriage.

Grounds

Generally, the grounds for annulment in Mississippi are:

  • Incest: between parent and child, including step relations and adopted children; grandparent and grandchild, including step relations; siblings, including step relations; first cousins; aunt and nephew; uncle and niece; and, parent and child's widow. An incestuous marriage is void, and any children of these marriages are illegitimate.
  • Bigamy: when one spouse is married to another living person at the time of the second or subsequent marriage. A bigamous marriage is void; however, children of the bigamous marriage will still be considered legitimate.
  • Impotence that existed at the time of the marriage: The action must be brought within six months after the impotence is discovered; otherwise, the marriage may not be annulled.
  • Age: Parental consent is required for females between ages 12-15, and for males between ages 14-17. Parental notice is required for females between ages 15-21, and for males between ages 17-21. If these rules are violated, but the marriage is followed by cohabitation, the marriage becomes valid.
  • Incompetence: if a court finds one or both spouses were mentally ill or mentally incompetent at the time of the marriage. A case based on incompetence must be brought within six months after the marriage and may be brought by the incompetent person, a next of kin or friend.
  • Force or Fraud: when consent to marry is obtained by force or fraud. For example, when the wife is pregnant by a man other than the husband at the time of the marriage, or when the husband didn't know of pregnancy or was told the baby was his, the marriage may be annulled. Annulments based on situations of fraud, or based on a claim of force, must be brought within six months of knowledge of the fraud or force, or else the marriage will become valid.

Procedure

A case for annulment should be filed in the chancery court of the county where either the plaintiff or defendant lives, or the county where the marriage license was issued.

The petitioner completes several forms depending on the grounds and files a complaint under 93-7-9 Mississippi Annotated Code.

The petitioner files the forms with the clerk and pays the appropriate fees. Additional forms and fees are required to establish temporary orders for child support and spousal support.

The annulment paperwork is served on the respondent. The court can send the paperwork to the second party, or it can be mailed, or conveyed by an outside party. A hearing is held. All annulments must have supporting elements hold up in court.

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