If my husband has broken a number of wedding vows and has lied about himself can I get my marriage annulled?

He basically has misrepresented himself, withheld pertainant information about himself and boldfaced lied. Had I known the truth I would not have married him. He has by omission and direct lying prevented me from making an informed, correct decision to not marry him.

Asked on November 27, 2011 under Family Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

An annulment (or “nullity of marriage”) is when a court says your marriage is not legally valid. After an annulment, it is like your marriage never happened.

A marriage is never legally valid when it is: incestuous (the people who are married are close blood relatives) or bigamous ( where a spouse is already married to someone else). Other marriages and partnerships can be declared invalid due to: 

  • Force (either party was made to consent to getting married);
  • Physical incapacity (the parties got married or registered a domestic partnership while 1 of them was physically incapable of “consummating” the relationship and the incapacity continues and appears to be incurable).Age (at the time of marriage the party filing for the annulment was under 18 years old);
  • Unsound mind (either party was unable to understand the nature of the marriage and the obligations that come with it); or
  • Fraud (something vital to the relationship directly affected why the party who was deceived agreed to the marriage or domestic partnership; for example, marrying only to get a green card or hiding the inability to be able have children). Note: An annulment on grounds of fraud must be filed within 4 years of discovering the fraud.

If you are going to file for an annulment you need to be aware that if you have children together or assetsand debt, they will be affected. Without more details its hard to advise further. And divorce is also an option in this situation. At this point, you really need to consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area.

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