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mmdesq, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 516
Experience:  Attorney with 13 years experience.
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Is my marriage considered voidable so I can apply annulment?

Customer Question

Is my marriage considered voidable so I can apply for an annulment? When I was only 12 my mother's "friend" began sexually abusing me. The abuse continued with my mother's approval and she even prevented me from ending the relationship several times, including two attempts to run away. I and my psychologist believe I developed Stockholm Syndrome and I married my abuser after reaching age 18. We have 4 children. I'm just now beginning to understand what's happened to me and am also suffering from c-ptsd due to his abusive treatment. Would this situation qualify as a voidable marriage due to duress?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  mmdesq replied 1 year ago.

Good Morning,

I will try to best answer your question.

I am sorry to hear about your traumatic experience.

Marriages can be either voidable or void abinitio. Void abinitio means it was never vaild. In order to be void abinitio there must have been an issue that existed at time of marriage that made it impossible to enter into a marriage contract. The reasons could have been that he or you were already married so you can't be married twice. It could also be that you were underage at the time the marriage was entered into. It doesn't sound like either of these are applicable to your fact pattern.

For the marriage to be considered voidable there has to be an issue of fraud. Ie husband claimed that he was able to have children but he knew that he was sterile. Husband claimed to be a millionaire but was really broke. And you would have to prove that you relied upon his false statement. Again it doesn't sound like these facts would meet the requirement for a voidable marriage.

They would absolutely meet the requirements for a divorce based upon abuse and cruel treatment. You would actually have more rights under divorce code for division of any marital assets, payment of alimony, and collection of child support. Plus even if the marriage is voidable you still have to deal with the issue of child support and custody none the less. I don't see the advantage to avoid the marriage as opposed to obtaining a divorce.

Based on your facts I think it is possible to make an argument that the marriage was voidable, but I think it will be a difficult argument. I would advise you to pursue a divorce instead. Doing an annulment is not less expensive then proceed with the divorce.

I hope this information is helpful and I wish you the best of luck.