States traditionally have considered condonation and reconciliation to be common law affirmative defenses to fault-based divorce actions. Under that scenario, the defendant was required to plead and prove the defense. In states that allow fault-based divorce and that have comprehensive divorce statutes, the general movement has been to limit or eliminate common law divorce defenses such as condonation and reconciliation.
Dischargeability of debt is one of the core principles in bankruptcy law, and it plays a large part in the fresh start for debtors. Discharge cancels debt and stops collection activity for the discharged debt. There are a variety of debts that are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, including alimony and child support.
Concealment and misrepresentation are used very commonly in annulment proceedings as part of the fraud ground. Most of the time, annulments for fraud are not granted as a matter of right and are granted only after close consideration. In most states, the courts require clear and convincing evidence of fraud and a showing that the injured party would not have married but for the fraud.
To base annulment on force, restraint or threats, the duress must have been the inducing cause of the marriage such that the consent to marry would not have been given but for the duress. Moreover, the force or duress must continue to the time of the wedding ceremony. Annulment generally will not be granted for duress if the coerced spouse has the ability to escape or overcome the force or duress.
A premarital agreement, also known as a prenuptial or ante-nuptial agreement, is an agreement made between the parties in anticipation of their marriage. Such agreements can cover issues such as property division upon divorce as well as child custody, child support and alimony. Although premarital agreements have been increasingly embraced for their ability to resolve complex property and support issues without resort to trial, the lack of uniform language included in such agreements has been noted as potentially problematic.