Can irreconcilable differences be grounds for an annulment?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can irreconcilable differences be grounds for an annulment?

Been married for 4 months and my spouse and I are having major issues between the 2 of us. She is now wanting to get our marriage annulled. She states it is because of certain things, but I disagree, and she has served me papers with the stated reason as fraud and misrepresentation. I think it is more irreconcilable differences. Can the marriage be annulled for that reason?

Asked on September 15, 2017 under Family Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, while irreconciliable differences are clearly grounds for divorce, they are not grounds for annulment. Annulment is for when there was a fundamental flaw or fraud in the marriage, so that the marriage essentially could never be formed--it was invalid from the very beginning. Examples include:
* One of the "spouses" was actually still married to another person;
* A spouse was underage
* A spouse was actually gay (in a traditional heterosexual marriage) and lied about sexual orientation because he/she had other reasons (e.g. immigration; health benefits) to want to be married.
But differences with your spouse do not invalidate a marriage from the inception; they merely provide grounds to termiante it later (divorce).

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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