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Can My Marriage Be Annulled in Ohio?

Sometimes people who want to end their marriage want to have it annulled. An annulment is a legal finding that the marriage never existed, and will only be granted by a court in certain circumstances. Any party, however, can seek a divorce when the marriage is no longer working.

These are the situations when Ohio law allows an annulment: If a person is induced into a marriage with fraudulent representations or non-disclosures. For example, if a person gets married and then discovers their spouse has a criminal record, has significant emotional or mental problems, or has lied about other issues critical to the marriage.

  • If the new spouse is unable to have intimate relations due to medical problems.
    NOTE: The above two grounds for annulment must be brought to the Court within two years of the marriage.
  • If the new spouse was already married when the marriage to the new partner took place.
  • If the new spouse lied about their age and was under the legal age for marriage at the time of marriage. The legal age for a male in Ohio is 18 years and the legal age for a female in Ohio is 16 years of age.

If a child is born during an annulled marriage, the child will remain legitimate and the Court will issue custody and child support orders regarding the child.

It is important to understand that if the annulment is granted, meaning there is no legal marriage, then there can be no court mandated property division, allocation of debts, and no spousal support, whereas in a divorce, the court can issue orders regarding property and spousal support, as well as custody, child support and visitation.

A party who does have grounds for an annulment may choose to seek a divorce instead, so that party can receive an equitable property division, appropriate allocation of debts, and an appropriate spousal support order. In a divorce, if there are children of the marriage, the Court will also issue orders regarding children and child support.

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