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What are the possible grounds for an annulment in Virginia?

Many Virginians know couples who have gotten a divorce. They may also know couples who are separated but still legally married. However, they probably don't know many couples who have annulled their marriage. That's because the law in Virginia, as well as many other states, is fairly restrictive when it comes to reasons for an annulment. However, an annulment can also settle all of the same issues that a divorce can settle, including alimony, child support and child custody. So, exactly what are the specific grounds that allow someone from Virginia to seek an annulment?

Virginia law outlines 10 very specific instances when someone can file for an annulment. The first is that either one or both of the parties who were married was either physically or mentally incompetent. However, to claim this there must be indisputable and corroborative evidence that one or both of the spouses was incompetent. A spouse simply cannot file for an annulment based on incompetency without any hard evidence.

Two additional grounds for an annulment are if the spouses were married either through fraud or coercion or if either spouse was a convicted felon or a prostitute. Both of these situations share some common ground since they both involve one person lying to the other in order to get married.

Two more reasons for an annulment are if the wife became pregnant by another man other than her husband or if the husband conceived a child with another woman within the first 10 months of his marriage.

There are five additional reasons that allow someone to file for an annulment. However, any Virginia resident who is contemplating an annulment may want to speak with a divorce attorney in order to discover if filing for an annulment is potentially feasible.

Source:, "Divorce and Separation," Accessed Feb. 1, 2016

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