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

UPDATED: Apr 4, 2011

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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