Can I get an annulment from my wife if I felt pressured into the marriage by her minister?

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Can I get an annulment from my wife if I felt pressured into the marriage by her minister?

I moved in with my wife a month before we got married and only knew her for about 2 months. We went to a friend’s house and her pastors were there. They both started to say that we were living in sin and that God would not answer our prayers since we were living together. They said since we are both Christian and living together that we should just get married. So we did, and it has been horrible. It has now been 4 months and we fight all the time. She knows that we are not working out but refuses to sign for a divorce because she made a vow to God. What can I do?

Asked on April 4, 2011 under Family Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Annulments are only granted for certain specific grounds, such as insanity (so a lack of consent) or the fact that one party claimed he/she wanted children but now refuses to do so (a fraud going to the heart of marriage). However, being told to marry by your church or minister is NOT a ground for an annulment. You are (presumably) an adult (if you're not, the marriage may be voidable if you are underage); adults are responsible for their own decisions, even when a religious leader pressures them.

2) Your wife can't stop you from divorcing her--she does not have to agree to it. She can refuse, of course, to divorce voluntarily--but you can bring a legal action for divorce. No one can keep you in a marriage against your will. You should speak with a divorce attorney as soon as possible.


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