Annulment of Marriage in Alabama

I get about a question a week from people who have realized soon after their wedding vows that this was all a big mistake. Their usual question is whether they can get an annulment instead of a divorce, because they’ve been married such a short time.

Sorry. It just doesn’t work that way. A marriage must have several elements to be a valid marriage. Both parties must be age 14 or greater. The parties must be of sound mind and have the ability to agree to the contract of marriage. The parties may not be first cousins or of closer relationship.

Annulment is available if one of these essential elements is missing. The most frequent successful reason for annulment is that one of the spouses was still married to someone else at the time the couple said “I do.”

Annulment is not available on these grounds:

  • We haven’t been married very long.
  • My spouse deceived me about his or her finances, or virginity, or family, or criminal record.
  • We never consummated our marriage. We never had sex together.
  • We never actually lived together.
  • When grounds for an annulment do exist, the cost for uncontested annulment tends to be a tad higher than for uncontested divorce. For example, my charge for an uncontested annulment is $100 more than for an uncontested divorce. It happens a little faster than uncontested divorce (about two weeks after filing vs. six weeks after filing for a divorce). Annulment happens faster because there’s no 30 day waiting period required.

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    202 thoughts on “Annulment of Marriage in Alabama”

    1. what if you found out 2 months after marriage that the immigrant you married was cheating on you and only married you to get a green card? can you get an annullment then?

    2. I remarried my exhusband and he is 10years older than me. A few weeks after the marriage,
      he tells me that he doesn’t want anymore children and he told me he did so I would marry
      him. He is 40 and has 2 children from a previous marriage. I’m 30 and he always knew that
      I wanted children. After only @5 weeks of marriage I left him due to domestic violence
      reasons. Can I get an annulment in Alabama?

    3. My wife was mentaly unstable at the time of marriage. She has bipolar disorder and was not taking her medicine for up to 1 year prior to marriage during courtship. Within four weeks of marriage she was hospitalized for suicide attempt. I do not feel she enetered into the marriage contract under sound mind. We have been married 6 months. Would an anulment be considered in this case?

    4. you probably won’t beable too get any help-which is very sad.
      my sister a rapid cyclic bipolar mpd personality disorder was
      not in treatment for five years; married an autistic man with
      in days of a divorce (after twenty some years of marriage)
      where the stress level of that had also caused severe
      delusional disorder (all documented by five-doctors here;
      the state of Alabama was unsympathetic; as were the judges
      perhaps when the divorce (is in court) one should ask of
      your-honor if you may petition (directly the judge) for
      favor-make it simple
      address the issue there; perhaps you might get lucky.
      I know one whom did so and this did work.
      however; in the above case the lady was so out of it
      she could not even function in court- and the hick town
      politics of the laws of annullment didn’t work
      unless of course you are loaded like brittany spears
      i guess you can forget it
      best wishes though!

    5. My wife and I have got married about 3 months ago because she said she was pregnant and because I thought that it was the thing to do since I thought I was the father. When I got her on my insurance and took her to the doctor they said she was X amount of weeks along which did not add up plus her pregnancy symptoms were too soon (like 6 days later) after we had sex. Is it possible to get an annulment based on being deceived?

    6. And also, it was in the doctors office when she decided to tell me that she had slept with a guy only a couple of weeks or so prior to sleeping with me.

    7. Lee,
      Could you please be more specific regarding grounds for annulment in Alabama? I know there is another post about it, but I would like clarification on annulment for for fraud (or misunderstanding).
      For instance, my wife is Colombian. I met her in Cali in 1999 and married her in Cali 5/31/2001. I thought I was nobody’s fool but this woman convinced me that 1) she loved me and wanted to make a life together with her 5-yr-old son, 2) she wanted to come to the USA and WORK, 3) she DID NOT WANT MORE CHILDREN, 4) although I am 17-yrs-older, my age was no problem, 5) a civil marriage ceremony would suffice although she is Roman Catholic.
      The reality is: 1) she never worked, 2) she demanded a monthly allowance with no accountability ($1k to $2k), 3) she demanded a car in her own name, 4) she demanded English classes and subsequent college courses at my expense (associates degree spring 2006 with all A’s) 5) she expected me to help her with child care 6) although I explained to her that we were spending beyond our means (borrowing) she demanded her priorities 7) In June 2006 the ready cash was depelted, I could no longer provide what she wanted 8) by Feb 2007 she found a job and moved out before her first paycheck, 9) now she is suing for divorce, $15k +/- and no responsibility for joint and marital debt of $135k 10) she is threatening alimony if I don’t pony-up.

      Fraud: If one of the parties did not tell the truth, or misrepresented information in order to induce the other party to enter into the marriage, then the marriage may be annulled because of fraud.

      • Misrepresentation or fraud — for example, a spouse lied about the capacity to have children, falsely stated that she had reached the age of consent, or failed to say that she was still married to someone else.
      • Concealment — for example, concealing an addiction to alcohol or drugs, conviction of a felony, children from a prior relationship, a sexually transmitted disease, or impotency. (frigidity?)
      • Refusal or inability to consummate the marriage — that is, refusal or inability of a spouse to have sexual intercourse with the other spouse.
      • Misunderstanding — for example, one person wanted children and the other did not.

    8. My Colombian Wife
      forgot to mention, when she left she said: 1) she wants more children 2) at age 35-yrs the time is passing fast and she wants her own life 3) she wants a younger (maybe Latin) man to father her children, 4) she feels sinful in our marriage since she cannot take communion while marrtied outside the church, 5) she does not love me as a husband but has feelings for me more like that of a father, 6) she wishes the things didn’t have to be this way, 7) she feels no responsibility for the marital and joint debt (should she sacrifice her life for obligation to me?)

      When I asked her if she wasn’t concerned that, in an adversarial law suit, I might report her and her mother for the fraudulent social security card she bought for $175 (I have a letter from the SSA to Rosa Lopez with a SS # that matches no record) she told me no one will do anything about that–the people (illegal immigrants) do it all the time and nothing ever happens. She then told me that she sees that my heart is vindictive.

    9. Hi i’ve been married for 3 weeks, I fond out he’s having several affairs and he’s a drunk.
      Can i have this anulled in Alabama?

    10. My friend has only been married for three months and have been having problems since the first month. She has told him that she doesn’t want to be married to him anymore and she will not speak to him at all. They don’t have any children together or anything tying them together. Is he able to ge an annulment?

    11. After a marriage of slightly less than one year, could it possibly be annulled in the case of 16 and 18 year old where they are siblings by adoption? The marriage took place shortly after the adoption was final.

    12. Hmmm. Interesting question! Beats me. Did these two know they were siblings when they married? If so, why did they marry? If they didn’t know, why not?

    13. Yes, they did know. They were essentially pushed into it by a rather abusive, dominating, and controlling step/adoptive mother. This was not something they were really wanting to do ,but at the time they felt like they had no choice. This seems to be ok only in Colorado and possibly Alabama. Alabama appears a little vague on this issue. Thanks

    14. Any thoughts on this issue? I guess the main question in their minds is whether or not it is worth pursuing the issue of an annulment or is it so unlikely that there is no point in proceeding with the matter?

    15. Yet another question is, would an annulment have to be pursued in the state where it took place (Alabama)?

    16. What statutes govern annulment in Alabama? I’ve located portions applicable to divorce but not annulment.

    17. There is no statute governing annulment of marriage in Alabama. It’s based entirely on case law, using the theory that a marriage must contain some elements to be valid, and if one of those elements is missing, the marriage is due to be annulled on the initiative of the party who was wronged. That is, a person who was already married cannot annul his or her new marriage on those grounds, but the person who married him or her can.

    18. If there are grounds for annulment, but there is a child, can the marriage still be annuled. I have read somewhere that in the event of there being children, a marriage cannot be annuled. Is this true?

    19. According to the following, it would appear to me in the case of the two children who had just become siblings by adoption that there was a basis for annulment:

      Code of Alabama, Title 13A, Criminal Code, Section 13A-13-3 Incest.
      (a) A person commits incest if he marries or engages in sexual intercourse with a person he knows to be, either legitimately or illegitimately: (2) His brother or sister of the whole or half-blood or by adoption;
      (c) Incest is a Class C felony.

      In the event that this is true, if they attempted to get an annulment, might they in turn be prosecuted under the criminal code for incest?

    20. My divorce was not fully final at the time that I was married. Can I get an annulment? I did not fully understand that I had to wait 6 months to get remarried and do not want to break the law. What should I do?

    21. If you’re truly concerned about being prosecuted, I wouldn’t be. You can read about the statute and its effect here: If you’re regretting this marriage and hoping to use the statute as a neat way to make it easier to escape it, nice try but no cigar. You’re probably heading for a plain-old divorce.

    22. Thank you. No, if I wanted a divorce, then I would get one. I only wanted to make sure that I was not going to be in to some trouble. Thank you again.

    23. Hello, I was married for a total of 3 weeks when I found out that my new husband was having an affair with the mother of 2 of his illegitimate children. It seems that he told her that they were still going to be together. He seemed to be attempting to live a polygamist lifestyle. It becomes much more complicated. I then discovered that he also had another illegitimate child that his wages were being garnisheed for, and another illegitimate child that he was not yet paying child support for (a total of 4 children, I was aware of only 2). He also was addicted to drugs which he kept hidden until after we were married several weeks and his behavior became erratic. When we separated after 3 weeks of strained cohabitation he moved in with his common-law wife (the mother of 2 of his children). He has since harassed and continually lied about his situation. Can I get an annulment in Alabama under this set of circumstances?
      Thank you, Katherine

    24. The answer to your question is a qualified yes. Yes if you can demonstrate to the satisfaction of a judge that your husband was already married at common law when he married you. That’s extremely difficult, however.

      Conventional wisdom is that it’s devilishly difficult to prove that you have been married at common law over the objection of your spouse. Proving that two other people were married at common law over the objection of (very likely) both of them seems so difficult as not to be worth the cost.

    25. I had been married for three years, when I found out that my husband is living in the US illegally. When I found this out, I left and went to live with my parents. My parents are pushing for me to file for an annulment for religous reasons, but I’m not sure if it would be possible. I have no idea where my husband is living now. The last I heard, he moved back to his country.

    26. In the state of Alabama,since bigamy is against the law and the marriage is null and void from the beginning is any legal paperwork required?

    27. HELP! I just find out that my ex lied to me about taking care of the fraudulent marriage he put me in (wanted a green card all along and like a fool, I thought he was marrying me for love!!!) Long story short – After 72 hours of ‘supposed married life’ and realizing that I had been duped (would not move in with me) and when he asked me to sign some ‘Immigration papers’, I knew I went down a wrong path and told him to hit the road. Time passed, I fell in love with another man and before allowing to be engaged, decided to try and track down this man – I had no luck. Was told he maybe was in California, Washington or Colorado… However out of the blue, he contacted me at my job, gave me this story about ‘being sorry for putting me through all that he did’ and ‘not to worry, he was in the process of getting married and he took care of all the paperwork. He asked for my address; I then asked him if he could also pay me back the $1000 he owed me – he said yes. I asked for his current address and phone; he only left me with a phone number and promptly hung up. I went on about my business, got engaged and married my current husband and we have 4 wonderful boys. Now today, for some personal business, I need to get copies of both of my marriage certificates and divorce decree and went online. I paid not one, but two internet investigative online search companies, and I located my marriage certificate but there divorce decree is no where to be found! I now realize the horror of what has happened. I am a bigamist! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE tell me how I can get this corrected. Is it possible that I can go get a quick ‘annulment’ and make things right? AND… what about my current marriage? Is it no longer valid? HELP ME PLEASE!!!!

    28. Oh yes, the phone number he left was of course, a ‘non-working number’. (Caller ID was not an option way back in 1986).

    29. My wife had some serious family problems right before we got married a few months back. I’m 22, she’s 19. We were dating, and I wanted to get married. She and her parents had a pretty serious feud. We got married and rented an apartment. We did have a honeymoon and had sex a couple of times on it, but right after we got back, she says to me, “I’m never having sex with you again.” It’s been 6 months, she still says never again. We live together still, and I’ve tried to get her into counseling. She wouldn’t see the counselor I saw first, but got her parents to pay for one. So, I went along with it, and the counselor said, “just be patient”. Well, 3 months later, I’m still waiting on her and she says, “Just to let you know, I’m not using contraceptives anymore becuase I’ll never, ever have sex with you or anyone else ever again.” I feel like she never really wanted to be my “wife”, but used me to get away from her family, and they are overbearing. I want an annulment. Do you think it’s possible?

    30. I can understand your frustration, and I see some logic in your guess at what is causing your wife to take this hard position. Unfortunately, nothing you’ve shared sounds like grounds for an annulment. I’m sorry.

    31. my wife joined the airforce and says since shes long distance and were different form on another she wants an anulment. is that possible? we did consmate our marriage and its been over three months.

    32. I have been married since July 2007. My husband has a problem. He acts like two different persons. It’s worse than PMS because it happen more frequently than once a month. Also the change is like a light switch off then on just that fast. I am unsure if he has a medical problem or not. Would this be some type of fraud and would that be a basis for annulment?

    33. I have been married for less than one week to a Chinese immigrant. She has been very abusive to me, so I did not want to marry her. I even told her the day of the wedding that I thought it would be better to wait. However, her visa would expire in December. She coerced me to apply for the marriage license, and did the same for the ceromony. She even made the appointment with the mayor by herself. I tried to reschedule, and told the mayor’s secretary that I wanted my fiancee to see a counselor first for her anger. Even the secretary told us that we should cancel and we both don’t sound ready for marriage. My fiancee also told her during the same phone call that I did not want to marry her. Then she sobbed terribly. I felt so guilty that I finally agreed to marry her during our scheduled appointment with the mayor. I did not even buy wedding rings to exchange. I have been under extreme duress since a few weeks before arriving to the USA from China. We did not consummate the marriage during the first night because I felt like I made a mistake. It was not until a few days later that we did. And she sobbed and sobbed until I did. Finally, last over the weekend, she physically beat me in front of a convenience store and also when we got home for about one hour. I told her if she did not stop, I would call the police. She called my good friend on a cell phone and tried to make me say some terrible things to her while she was beating me. Finally, I called the police. The police let me leave the house for the night, but she has been extremely verbally abusive since then. And, now she swings from happy, guilty, and rage. Do you think that I would be allowed an anulment, or is another alternative better? Thank you.

    34. After 13 days of wedded bliss, my husband took off with the rent money, my car and everything he could swipe from inside the home (ie, my kids dvd player and movies) and went MIA for 5 days before he landed in the slammer with forgery charges for someone elses checks. I was aware that he had a problem with drugs in the past, but he finished a drug treatment program and was 7 months clean. I have found out that he has a rap sheet a mile long and he was on parole at the time. Is there anything I can do to have this marriage annulled as opposed to divorcing this man?

    35. My brother has been married for 1 year and 2 months. Just before their one year anniversary we found out that she was to appear in Federal Court for embezzlement & forgery. She is to be sentenced next month. Since then….we discovered the following: she has been married more than once (she said only married one time); she has previously filed bankruptcy, she is continually lying about things. She is still lying about the embezzlement & we have the papers showing where she SIGNED the plea. Told us the attorney told her to plead guilty. Attorney said she came to him with a guilty plea for the start.

      They moved into a $250,000 house because she assured my brother they could afford it. It is about to be foreclosed. He went out & found them a place to live within HER sons school district to ensure it wouldn’t effect the child. she came home & told him she rented a apt & their was no way that she was going to live in a trailer & she had planned on leaving him for a month anyways. He just needed to step it up. He was working 7 days a week at this time to stay on top of the bills. She bought 12,000 worth of blinds, top of the line washer & dryer, new furniture, new refrigerator all without my brother’s knowledge (at least until he got home & saw it!) She has filed for a divorce. They are in the process of filing bankruptcy & my brother was told today that she couldn’t file chapter 7 because she filed bankruptcy before & it hasn’t been enough time. They advised that “HE” could file Chapter 7 but anything in their names together would HAVE to be chapter 13 & repayed. They never sold their old house so this would leave the 2 house payments within chapter 13. we also found out today that she has obtained a credit card in his name without his authorization & run the bill up to $1,200. She has lied about numerous other things & we feel like she has definitely presented herself in a fraudulent manner. We feel sure that she will NOT pay her half of the chapter 13 & if she does it wouldn’t be for long. We think she is capable of anything……even an identity change.

      I was just looking on the web to see if there was ANYTHING that could be done to help my brother. Thought MAYBE just maybe the marriage could be annulled & if you thought it could would this basically separate their combined debts or would he still be responsible?

    36. No, it doesn’t sound like an annulment case. Yes, he can initiate a divorce. No, he can’t force his creditors to accept his wife’s bad credit in lieu of his (presumably) good credit. Yes, he can join in her bankruptcy filing, but I’m not sure that’s going to make him better or worse off.

    37. To make a long story short.. my current husband was married to another woman, they had been separated for 7+ years when he and I met and they were not in contact at all, while we were saving $$ to file the divorce so he and I could get married, she calls out of the blue tells us she has divorced him by publication b/c didn’t know where he was at the time, and she has since remarried. We stupidly did not obtain proof of the divorce, but neither one of us thought for a second she would commit bigamy, nor did we understand that marriage/divorce records weren’t cross checked when you apply for a marriage license. Anyway, upon being told she had remarried and had divorced him, we rushed into getting married after his mother received a terminal cancer diagnosis (she wanted to see us get married). Sorry for the detail but want to clarify the situation. Anyway, his ex calls up the other day saying she is now filing for divorce from him and wants to discuss the terms. So, clearly she lied when she said she divorced him before, and she has married 2 different men in the meantime. After that phone call I began sending off for public records and have verified that 1. she never divorced my husband, and 2. she has married twice since, one was annuled.
      My question: I assume I need to file an annulment in my marriage, and then remarry him after his divorce is final, is this correct? I had another source tell me I wouldn’t need an annulment because my marriage to him was never real anyway, but that doesn’t make sense because there has to be a paper trail of all this, or else what happens with taxes, my name change, etc. Your recommendation would be much appreciated.

    38. That depends on what you want. Do you want to stay married? If so, then just have your husband get a divorce. Your marriage is still valid unless and until you file to set it aside.

    39. I see what you’re saying. That is a question I will do some soul searching on before I decide. Any recommendation as to how in the world to file my taxes? IRS says file head of household, but I am nervous about that… I think you’re saying I AM married even though he’s also technically married to someone else, right?

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