Pennsylvania Divorce Start Your Divorce Find Professionals Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania Products Divorce by County
Annulments in Pennsylvania
Like a divorce, an annulment ends a marriage. However, an annulment is a legal proceeding that declares a marriage invalid or void.
The law on Pennsylvania annulments can be found in 23 Pa.C.S.A. 3301 et seq. and 23 Pa.C.S.A. 3303 et seq.
Pennsylvania recognizes several grounds for annulment that end void and voidable marriages. To obtain an annulment, one of the grounds must be proved.
Void marriages, which are those prohibited by law, are not legally recognized in Pennsylvania; however, in some instances, continued cohabitation after the impediment is removed can make an otherwise void marriage valid.
Grounds for ending a void marriage include:
Voidable marriages are those that are valid but can be declared invalid under certain circumstances. Grounds for annulment of voidable marriages can be waived by continued cohabitation after the condition is discovered or cured.
Voidable grounds include:
An annulment does not affect the legitimacy of children born during the marriage. Children born while parents are married are legitimate even if that marriage is later annulled or declared void. Additionally, an annulment does nothing to affect custody or child support and instead establishes a presumption of paternity.
When an underage spouse reaches 18, if the spouses continue to freely cohabit after both have reached the age of consent, such a claim is waived.
Fraud can be waived if the spouses continue to cohabit after discovering it; that is, if the innocent spouse discovers the fraud and remains with the offending spouse, the fraud may be waived because the innocent spouse has ratified the marriage, preventing an annulment on fraud grounds.
Void marriages are invalid immediately and do not require a court order to be annulled. By contrast, the annulment of a voidable marriage requires a trial and hearing before a judge to prove the grounds for annulment. Before an annulment action can be filed, one or both of the spouses must have resided in Pennsylvania for at least six months. In certain circumstances, an action for annulment can be brought by parents if their child was under age 18 and their consent was not obtained for the marriage or if their child lacks mental capacity.
An annulment ruling demands at least one of the grounds to be proven in court. This requires filings with the court and a court hearing with evidence including documents and/or witnesses supporting a claim for an annulment.
Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Established in 1996
Copyright© 1996-. All rights reserved by MH Sub I, LLC dba 3StepDivorce.