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Nebraska Annulments
Annulments in Nebraska

An annulment means a marriage legally never happened. The court, however, still deals with issues like property, child custody and support in a manner similar to a divorce.

The law governing annulments in Nebraska is described in Nebraska Revised Statutes 42-373 through 42-378.

Annulments are often granted a short time after the marriage. Therefore, in regards to property rights, the court tries to restore the parties, returning the property each had prior to the marriage.

The children of the partners in an annulled marriage are legitimate, and the father is still legally the father, unless it is proven that someone else is the father. Either parent may seek custody or visitation in a separate court proceeding. The custodial parent may also seek child support from the other parent.

Grounds

Marriages are void:

  • when either party has a husband or wife living at the time of the marriage;
  • when either party, at the time of marriage, is mentally incompetent to enter into the marriage relation; and
  • when the parties are related to each other as parent and child, grandparent and grandchild, brother and sister of half as well as whole blood, first cousins when of whole blood, uncle and niece, and aunt and nephew. This applies to children and relatives born out of wedlock as well as those born in wedlock.

Marriages are voidable:

  • when either of the parties is under the age of legal consent (under the age of 17 during the time of marriage), if they shall separate during such time, and not cohabit together afterwards,
  • when consent of one of the parties is obtained by force or fraud, and the partners have not lived together.

Procedure

To get an annulment, the petitioner files a complaint for an annulment and other paperwork in the district court of the county of his or her residence. In the complaint, the petitioner provides basic information about the parties, their marriage, their children, and the reason for the annulment. The paperwork is filed with the clerk of the court and appropriate fees are paid. After filing, a person other than the petitioner usually delivers the annulment to the respondent. The paperwork can also be mailed. Usually, the judge holds a hearing to determine whether the annulment is proper. The parties testify under oath and present other evidence to help the court make a determination.

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