An annulment, is a judicial determination that the marriage did not occur. A divorce is the changing of the legal status by a court from married to unmarried.
The grounds for an annulment in Michigan.
The grounds recognized for an annulment in Michigan are:
- Bigamy (married to more than one person);
- A marriage to a close family member;
- A marriage to someone who is incompetent;
- A marriage to someone underage;
- A marriage obtained by force or fraud;
- A marriage to someone who is sterile or impotent;
- Concealed homosexuality at the time of marriage; and
- Intent not to have sexual intercourse at the time of marriage.
Annulment in Michigan – Void marriages.
Certain marriages are void ab initio or invalid from the onset. A void marriage may not require an annulment because the marriage was never valid under Michigan law.
- A bigamous marriage is void ab initio. e.g. a marriage to someone who is already married or never divorced is invalid in Michigan.
- A marriage to someone under the age of legal consent is void ab initio. Under Michigan law (MCL 552.103), you must be 18 to legally marry or 16 with written parental consent.
- A marriage to a person not capable of entering a contract is void ab initio (e.g. an incapacitated person) pursuant to MCL 552.1 and MCL 552.35.
- A marriage to a close family member is void ab initio under MCL 551.3, a man shall not marry his mother, sister, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, stepmother, grandfather’s wife, son’s wife, grandson’s wife, wife’s mother, wife’s grandmother, wife’s daughter, wife’s granddaughter, brother’s daughter, sister’s daughter, father’s sister, mother’s sister, or cousin of the first degree. Under MCL 551.4, a woman shall not marry her father, brother, grandfather, son, grandson, stepfather, grandmother’s husband, daughter’s husband, granddaughter’s husband, husband’s father, husband’s grandfather, husband’s son, husband’s grandson, brother’s son, sister’s son, father’s brother, mother’s brother, or cousin of the first degree.
Annulment in Michigan – Voidable marriages.
Other Michigan marriages are voidable. A voidable marriage is valid, however, you can obtain an annulment in Michigan by a court.
- A marriage obtained by fraud, force or duress is voidable under MCL 552.2. However, the marriage may be valid if the parties voluntarily lived together as husband and wife after the fraudulent marriage under MCL 552.37.
- A marriage to a close family member is voidable if the marriage was conducted outside of Michigan. (A marriage to a close family member conducted in Michigan is void ab initio.
- A marriage to someone who is incapable of having children is voidable if the other party was unaware of the notion at the time of marriage and the action is brought within 2 years of the marriage (MCL 552.39)
- Concealed homosexuality at the time of marriage; and Intent not to have sexual intercourse at the time of marriage has been found voidable under Michigan law.
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I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for over two decades. The attorneys at Findling Law all share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles. We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances.That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm. We want to help you manage your situation. Allow our exceptional legal team to help you navigate the change in your life, without compromising principles.
By: Daniel Findling