Wjat constititues grounds for annulment based on fraud?

My husband badgered me into marrying him. I had been in a previously abusive relationship and this husband was even more abusive prior to marriage. However, his abuse was intermittent and took the form of breaking inanimate objects and much yelling and verbal abuse. He convinced me to enter into a premarital agreement giving him property that I purchased in both of our names to him in the event of divorce. After the marriage, he was physically abusive once shortly after the wedding, and became more and more irrational. I became extremely mentally disturbed and sought intensive outpatient treatment for 5 months. During this time, my husband coerced me into buying him a truck. After 1 year, my husband told me that he never really was in love with me and never should have married me and didn’t want to be married. I believe that he married me solely to obtain my assets.

Asked on July 27, 2012 under Family Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is my understanding that California law requires more than what is caled an "ordinary" finding of fraud. The fraud has to go to the heart of the marital relationship and directly affect the purpose of the deceived party in consenting to entering into the marital contract.  This is more than he was noce before we got married but turned nasty on the honeymoon.  It sounds to me like you would have the basis to set aside the agreement and the marriage not on fraud but on other legal grounds.  But I would speak with an attorney in your area who knows the case law.  Good luck to you. 

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