Annulment differs from divorce, which recognizes the original validity of a marriage and dissolves that marriage. An annulment is a court ruling that decrees a marriage was void at its inception. Tennessee law specifies specific statutory grounds that will support a decree of annulment:
1. Fraud – Fraud or misrepresentation that induces someone to marry is grounds for an annulment such as someone giving the false impression he wants children or misrepresenting that he was never convicted of a crime.
2. Duress – If a marriage is entered into under conditions that can be characterized as duress, it is grounds for annulment in Tennessee.
3. Medical Conditions – If your spouse suffers from insanity and has no medical grounds to anticipate a recovery, the courts will grant an annulment.
4. Sexual dysfunction – If your spouse suffers from a sexual dysfunction that affects your marriage, you qualify for an annulment.
5. Underage Spouse – Tennessee law requires parental consent for any person under 18 wishing to get married in the state. If a marriage has taken place without the necessary consent, the court will grant an annulment.
6. Infidelity – If a wife is carrying the child of another at the time of the marriage, it is grounds for annulment.
7. Inter-Family Marriage – A marriage whose consummation constitutes incest under Tennessee law can be annulled by the courts. It is grounds for an annulment if a marriage is between an individual and a lineal descendant (child or grandchild) or a lineal ancestor (parent, aunt or uncle). Certain non-blood relationships are also considered incestuous and grounds for an annulment, including stepparent, stepchild, adoptive parent, adoptive child, half-brother, half-sister, adopted brother or adopted sister. Tennessee will grant annulments for incestuous marriages between any blood relatives except cousins. (Marriage between cousins, even first cousins, is in fact legal in Tennessee.)
8. Previous Marriage – If a person enters into a marriage while still legally married to another person, the second marriage qualifies for an annulment.
9. Other Acceptable Circumstances – Tennessee legal code also makes a provision for “any other reason the marriage was not binding” which means the court might accept other reasons than the ones listed specifically in the code.
KLS can help you with these issues.