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I am only married a few months. Am I entitled to an annulment?

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The answer is no. The length of the marriage is not one of the factors under the annulment statute in the State of Wisconsin. Sec. 767.313 provides certain specific requirements for a person’s entitlement to an annulment. In the 33 years I have been practicing, I have seen one annulment case. There is a common misconception that a short marriage entitles someone to an annulment, but that is simply incorrect. A judicial proceeding is required under Wisconsin law to annul a marriage. A marriage may not be annulled after the death of a party to the marriage. There are also some strict statute of limitations that apply to filing a case to annul a marriage.

The following factors apply in determining eligibility for an annulment in the State of Wisconsin.

1. A party lacked capacity to consent to the marriage at the time the marriage was solemnized, either because of age, because of mental incapacity or infirmity or because of the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other incapacitating substances, or a party was induced to enter into a marriage by force or duress, or by fraud involving the essentials of marriage. Suit may be brought by either party, or by the legal representative of a party lacking the capacity to consent, no later than one year after the petitioner obtained knowledge of the described condition.

2. A party lacks the physical capacity to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse, and at the time the marriage was solemnized the other party did not know of the incapacity. Suit may be brought by either party no later than one year after the petitioner obtained knowledge of the incapacity.

3. A party was 16 or 17 years of age and did not have the consent of his or her parent or guardian or judicial approval, or a party was under 16 years of age. Suit may be brought by the underaged party or a parent or guardian at any time prior to the party’s attaining the age of 18 years, but a parent or guardian must bring suit within one year of obtaining knowledge of the marriage.

4. The marriage is prohibited by the laws of this state. Suit may be brought by either party within 10 years of the marriage, except that the 10-year limitation shall not apply where the marriage is prohibited because either party has another spouse living at the time of the marriage and the impediment has not been removed under s. 765.24.

For more information on this article, contact Karp & Iancu.

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