• Jim Schroeder

Annulment in Ohio: I Do… I Don’t

I did not really know who he/she is. We had too much alcohol last night. This marriage just is not working out, and we have only been married for six weeks.

You are accidentally or unhappily married. According to the Department of Vital Statistics, it happens quite frequently.

Whatever the situation, there are two kinds of annulment in the state of Ohio: annulments for voidable marriages and annulments for void marriages. Voidable marriages require a trial, a hearing, and a judge, whereas a void marriage is invalid immediately.

Void marriages are considered illegal and include unions that involve polygamy, bigamy, incest, or prior marriage. In contrast, voidable marriages are valid but can be voided according to Ohio state law ORC 3105.31 et seq. and 3111.01 et seq.

Causes for annulment, an annulment (voidable) may be granted for the following reasons:

  • The marriage participants are underage

  • The participants are still married to other individuals

  • The marriage was not consummated

  • The marriage was coerced

  • The participants to not have mental competence

Most often, annulments of marriages are granted because both participants wish to dissolve and void the marriage. However, if only one party initiates and contests the marriage, the evidence must be presented to the state in a scheduled hearing.

Generally, Ohio state law also states that there is not a time frame for seeking an annulment. However, if fraud has occurred and is the reason for seeking an annulment, a petition must be filed with the court within two years of discovery. Also, an annulment being sought due to lack of consummation or force must be completed within two years from the marriage date.

Procedures for annulment in the state of Ohio include filing paperwork with the court and attending a hearing to present documents and evidence which show support for the annulment is valid. The individual or couple filing annulment paperwork must provide information about both parties, reasons for annulment, and family information. Court fees must be paid to the clerk of the court. Paperwork is then granted after a judge holds a hearing to ensure that annulment is the proper path for the issue stated by the married couple.

The time frame for total annulment proceedings usually is four to six weeks once initiated. However, if the couple is outside of annulment time frames, then the couple must seek out other legal avenues such as the dissolution of marriage or divorce.


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