Are You Entitled to an Annulment in Mississippi?

What do Renee Zellweger, Brittney Spears, and Zsa Zsa Gabor all have in common?  Each obtained an annulment, declaring their marriage never to have legally existed.  While divorce and death are the two ways one commonly envisions dissolving a marriage, annulment is a third possibility.  An annulment differs from a divorce in that instead of terminating a marriage, it causes the marriage to have never existed.  The slate is wiped clean, in essence, with the remedy of annulment.  An annulment is, however, difficult to obtain and you must meet very stringent requirements in order to be entitled to one.  Here is a look at three famous celebrity annulments and the grounds cited in support of them:

Rene Zellweger wed country star Kenny Chesney in 2005 after a whirlwind romance.  Four months after the wedding, Zellweger applied for an annulment citing fraud as the reason she sought one.  The annulment was granted, and rumors swirled over the source of the alleged fraud.  Later, the former couple explained that the term fraud was only used for legal purposes; the marriage ended due to miscommunication of the objective of the marriage.

Britney Spears married her childhood sweetheart Jason Allen Alexander on January 4, 2004.  The very next day, however, Britney filed for an annulment.  She claimed she lacked an understanding of her actions and was incapable of agreeing to marriage because the couple did not know the basics about each other that one should upon entering a marriage, such as each spouse’s likes and dislikes, desire to have children, and preference for state of residency.  The annulment was granted within hours.

Finally, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Felipe de Alba married briefly in 1983, but the marriage was annulled on the grounds that Zsa Zsa’s divorce from Michael O’Hara was not yet final.  Felipe was Zsa Zsa’s eighth husband.

Grounds for Annulment in Mississippi

A spouse may seek to annul an invalid marriage based on the following limited grounds:

– Bigamy—bigamy occurs when one spouse is already married to another.  The marriage will be declared void but children from the marriage will be considered legitimate.

-Incest—a marriage is void if it is between: a parent and child, including adopted children or step children; grandparent and grandchild, again including step relations; siblings, including step siblings; first cousins; aunt and nephew or uncle and niece.  Children born of an incestuous marriage will be considered illegitimate.

– Impotence—impotency which cannot be cured will be grounds for annulment if an annulment is sought within six months of discovering the impotency.

– Age—the marriage between underage teenagers can be annulled.  Females between 12 and 15 and males between 14 and 17 must obtain their parents consent to wed.  Further, parental notice is required if the wife is between 15 and 21 and the husband between 17 and 21.  If, however, the young couple cohabitates following marriage, the marriage is then valid and cannot be annulled.

– Incompetence—if one of the spouses was mentally ill or mentally incompetent at the time of the marriage, the marriage can be annulled, but only within 6 months of the wedding.

– Force or fraud—a claim of annulment based on force or fraud must be brought within 6 months of the alleged force or fraud.  Fraud can encompass the scenario in which the couple marries and the husband later discovers his wife is pregnant by another man.

– No cohabitation– a marriage can be annulled when the husband and wife do not live together after getting married.

You Need an Experienced Mississippi Annulment Attorney

If you might meet one of the criteria set forth above, you should consult with an experienced Mississippi annulment attorney.  Annulment is a complex legal process that is not routinely granted.  Further, an annulment can still involve issues like division of marital assets and monetary support, which is essentially equivalent to alimony.  Matthew S. Poole is an experienced Jackson, Mississippi area annulment attorney who can examine the facts of your case and determine whether you might be able to seek an annulment.  Call The Law Office of Matthew S. Poole today at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a consultation.

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