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Wyoming Annulments
Annulments in Wyoming

Wyoming allows some marriages to end by annulment rather than divorce. Both divorce and annulment end a marriage. Divorce ends a valid marriage; annulment ends a marriage that was never valid. A marriage that should have been invalid from the beginning may be annulled in Wyoming.

In the order granting annulment, the court can also grant relief sought in the complaint, including child support, child custody, visitation, and property division.

Children from annulled marriages are treated the same as children from valid marriages. A child born during an annulled marriage or 300 days after can inherit from either parent and must be financially supported by both parents.

The Wyoming Statutes, Title 20, Chapter 2, contain the law on annulment in Wyoming.

Grounds

Void marriages include those which are bigamous, incestuous or contracted by an incompetent party. Voidable marriages are those contracted by under age parties.

Legal grounds for annulment in Wyoming are:

  • Bigamy, when one spouse has a living husband or wife at the time of marriage;
  • Incompetence, when one spouse couldn’t mentally understand what the marriage meant;
  • Incest, when the spouses are related, closer than first cousins, “[w]hen the parties stand in the relation to each other of parent and child, grandparent and grandchild, brother and sister of half or whole blood, uncle and niece, aunt and nephew, or first cousins, whether either party is illegitimate”;
  • Underage, when one spouse was under the legal age for marriage;
  • Force, when one spouse was forced or threatened at the time of marriage;
  • Fraud, when one spouse was lying about or hiding something essential at the time of marriage; and
  • Impotence, when one spouse can’t have sexual intercourse.

There are additional conditions for some legal grounds:

  • A person who is insane, intoxicated, or mentally disabled at the time of marriage may be considered incompetent. Unless the party continues to live with the other spouse when they’re no longer incompetent, the marriage may be annulled.
  • The age of consent in Wyoming is 18, or 16 with a parent or guardian’s consent, and under 16 only with the approval of a parent or guardian and a county judge. Any underage spouse who married with proper permission is not eligible for an annulment, nor will the court grant an annulment if the underage spouse continues to live with the other spouse on achieving a majority.
  • In the case of fraud or force, the spouses can’t continue to freely live together after the fraud has been discovered or the force is no longer being exerted. Fraud or force must be used when the parties continue to live together.
  • In the case of impotence, the other spouse must file for an annulment within the first two years of marriage, or the marriage won’t be annulled.

Procedure

The filing spouse is the plaintiff or petitioner; the other spouse is the defendant or respondent. The petitioner needs to have lived in Wyoming at least 60 days to file a petition.

The petition should say when and where the spouses married, and where they last lived together. It lists the grounds for annulment, and it includes any desired relief, such as child custody, visitation, child support, alimony, and property division. It states the petitioner has lived in the state for at least 60 days.

After filing the complaint, the respondent must be served a copy of the annulment papers. The court clerk’s office knows the options for service, which may be done even if the respondent lives out of state or cannot be found.

After service, the family court schedules a hearing to hear the plaintiff’s argument for annulment. At the hearing, he or she can bring any evidence and witnesses to prove the argument. If the judge agrees, he or she grants the annulment.

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