Annulment Laws in Kansas

By Heather Frances J.D.

Whereas a divorce ends a marriage, an annulment is a finding that the marriage was not valid and never existed. Grounds for seeking an annulment vary according to state law. Kansas allows its courts to grant annulments on grounds the marriage is void or voidable, or on contractual grounds such as mistake of fact.

Void Marriages

If your marriage is void, which means it is prohibited by Kansas law, the Kansas court is required to grant an annulment. For example, a marriage between close relatives is considered incestuous and void under Kansas law. Even if you didn’t know about your familial relationship to your spouse at the time of the marriage, the marriage is still void. Since Kansas only allows marriages between one man and one woman, bigamous marriages and homosexual marriages are also void in Kansas.

Marriages Voidable by Fraud

Similarly, a Kansas court must grant your request for an annulment if your marriage is voidable because it was induced by fraud. This might apply if you entered the marriage because of a misrepresentation your spouse intentionally made, such as lying to you about his age, and you would not have entered the marriage had you known the truth. However, you are not required to ask for an annulment once you discover the fraud.

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Other Grounds for Annulment

A Kansas court can consider other grounds to justify an annulment, although it is not required to grant an annulment on any of these grounds should they exist. These grounds are (1) the parties married because they made a "mistake of fact"; (2) the parties did not know a "material fact" that would have caused them not to marry had they known it; or (3) any other reason the court feels is adequate justification for annulment. A mistake of fact or lack of knowledge of a fact means the spouses entered the marriage without knowing the truth about something so important that they would not have married if they had known the truth. For example, if one spouse had a significant mental condition, unknown to the other spouse at the time of the marriage, the court could find that significant enough to justify annulment.

Filing for Annulment

Unlike a Kansas divorce proceeding, Kansas does not require either party to have lived in the state for a certain period of time in order to file for annulment. Your petition for annulment must specifically outline your grounds for annulment and state the names and dates of birth of any children born during the marriage. Once your petition for annulment is filed, there is no mandatory waiting period before the court may grant your annulment. However, your spouse has the opportunity to file a response to your petition, thereby contesting the annulment, which may result in a longer process.

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What Is the Time Limit for Getting an Annulment in the State of Nevada?

References

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Missouri Annulment Information

An annulment in Missouri is known as a "declaration of invalidity of marriage." Despite Missouri's unique description, the grounds for annulment in the state are similar to those found in others, ranging from bigamy and incest to fraud and concealment. If annulment is granted, the marriage is treated as if it never happened. But annulments don't come easy; the party seeking it must prove the required circumstances exist -- speculation is not enough.

What Goes to the Essence of Marriage in Annulment Cases?

Annulment isn't an easy fix for an "oops" marriage. In fact, it's typically far simpler to get a divorce, because all states now recognize some form of no-fault grounds. An annulment is a ruling by the court that your marriage should never have existed in the first place, and it can be difficult to prove that. That is particularly true if you want to establish that your union is the result of something that went to the essence of the marriage.

Requirements for an Annulment in Massachusetts

Contrary to popular belief, you can’t annul your marriage just because it was fleeting in duration. Each state’s legislative code sets specific guidelines for what constitutes an annullable marriage. In Massachusetts, the length of the marriage is not included in these guidelines. The state is stingy about granting annulments, and spouses often find it easier to file for a no-fault divorce instead. If your marriage qualifies, you would have to prove to the court one of seven grounds for annulment. This is sometimes difficult, whereas you don’t have to prove any ground to get a no-fault divorce.

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