A marriage annulment, in accordance with the laws of Virginia, is a legal action taken to end a marriage that is considered invalid by the court of law. An annulment is granted if there are sufficient reasons that the marriage should not have occurred to begin with.
In order to be eligible for an annulment in Virginia, a person needs to have legal grounds supporting his/her request. The following are legal grounds that are accepted in the court of Virginia when an annulment is requested:
A marriage may be annulled if a spouse fails to reveal that he/she is a convicted felon or prostitute before the marriage takes place
If a person has a wife/husband at the time of marriage.
A person who is married forcefully or under threat from their spouse at the time of marriage is eligible for an annulment.
Spouses are related by blood.
A spouse is mentally unstable and is unaware or does not understand the marriage.
Spouses that married for reasons other than those of a regular marriage.
Spouse is incapable of taking part in sexual relations. However, if the other spouse is aware of the situation and does not take action for a long period of time, impotence is no longer considered legal ground for an annulment.
Deception that leads a spouse to marriage. This is only valid if the marriage would not have occurred otherwise. For example, lies about health, age, or wealth are not valid reasons to have a marriage annulled. In the state of Virginia, annulments have been granted to cases involving lies about the presence of sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy and religious beliefs.
Spouse is under the legal age that is allowed to marry. The legal age of marriage in Virginia is 18. At the age of 16, marriage is legal with parental consent. In the event of a pregnancy, a female under the age of 16 is allowed to marry with parental consent. To avoid convictions of statutory rape, marriages are legal for ages 14 and up. If any of these circumstances exist, the annulment is not granted.
To file for an annulment in Virginia, either of the spouses must be a current resident or has lived in the state of Virginia and the county in which they are filing their annulment for at least six months. The complaint should contain full names of both spouses along with phone numbers and addresses. The date of marriage, state and city where it took place must be provided. If child support, custody or visitation is needed, it must also be addressed in the complaint. Once a complaint is filed, it is served by one spouse to the other. A spouse may be served a complaint for annulment even if he or she live outside the state of Virginia.
A hearing is held before a judge where the legal grounds are provided for the annulment. If the judge finds that there is sufficient reason for an annulment, he or she may grant it.
A judge can decide on child custody, support and rights to visitation. Unlike most states judges in Virginia cannot order alimony or divide property in an annulment.