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Is my marriage valid? Can I get an annulment?

Most couples who decide to end their marriages in Minnesota need to file for divorce. However, a rare few couples may not be in legally valid marriages. If your marriage is not legally valid -- for any number of reasons -- you may be able to get your marriage annulled.

Annulments are not common, and they're not possible for most Minnesota spouses. However, if your situation falls under one of the following categories, you might want to consider annulment as an option.

Here are some of the usual grounds for annulment

Mental illness: If your spouse was mentally disabled, insane or suffering from severe mental illness at the time of marriage, you or your spouse's family might be able to get your marriage annulled. Marriage is a consensual relationship, and if the person is not mentally capable of consenting to the agreement, the union will not be valid.

Temporary insanity: Temporary insanity at the time of marriage is grounds for annulment. On the other hand, if you or your spouse is typically insane, but was temporarily lucid on the date of the wedding, then a court will not likely grant the annulment.

Fraud: Did one of the parties in the wedding lie or misrepresent the truth to induce the other person to marry? This is fraud and grounds for annulment.

Duress: There have been examples of families or would-be spouses forcing an individual to marry via threats of violence, threats of denying monetary support and other manipulative strategies. A marriage that happens under duress is not legally valid.

Drunkenness: Were you or your spouse drunk at the time you signed your marriage documents and said: "I do?" This is not so different from getting married while temporarily insane. If the parties were not lucid at the time they agreed to the marriage, then the union is invalid.

There are many other grounds for annulment

The above examples are just some of the reasons why a Minnesota marriage may not be valid. If you feel that your marriage certificate should simply be invalidated in lieu of divorce, you might have a valid case for annulment. By researching marriage rules and the laws and legal precedents that govern annulments in Minnesota, spouses can explore whether their marriages may or may not be valid.

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