While many people dream of the perfect wedding day, not all nuptials are allowed. And whether you’re thinking about getting married in the Yellowhammer State or trying to end a marriage there, learning about marriage annulments and what kind of marriages are prohibited under Alabama law can help. The legal requirements and proceedings for marriage vary from state to state and can have strict rules. This is an introduction to annulment and prohibited marriage laws in Alabama.
Annulments and Prohibited Marriages
When many people first hear the word annulment, they think of a religious annulment, granted by a church or clergy member. While these processes may have a spiritual effect, they cannot end your marriage legally. Instead, there are separate procedures called “civil annulments,” and each state has its own set of annulment and prohibited marriage laws that invalidate marriage in certain circumstances. Alabama’s marriage laws, for example, focus on the age of consent (generally 18, or 16 with parental consent and a $200 bond) and prohibit bigamous or incestuous marriages.
Annulment Laws in Alabama
Annulment and prohibited marriage laws in Alabama are highlighted in the table below.
||Code of Alabama 13A-13-1: Bigamy; Code of Alabama 30-1-3, et seq.
|Grounds for Annulment
||Bigamy; incest; under age of 16
|Time Limits for Obtaining Annulment
|Legitimacy of Children
||The children of incestuous marriage before annulment are legitimate.
Same-Sex Marriage in Alabama
As of 2014, same-sex marriage and the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries were prohibited under both Alabama’s statutory code and its constitution. Both measures passed by resounding majority in the Alabama State House and State Senate. However, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in 2015 stating that state bans on same-sex marriage and the failure to acknowledge same-sex marriages legally entered into in another state are both violations of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection guarantees.
The Obergefell v. Hodges ruling was a landmark decision that legalized same-sex marriage in Alabama and every other state in the country regardless of their statutory or constitutional bans. Same-sex marriage remains a contentious issue, particularly in Alabama, and it isn't certain that new efforts won't be made to prevent same-sex marriages from taking place here or elsewhere. For additional updates and the latest developments in same-sex marriage law, you can visit FindLaw’s Same-Sex Marriage section and view the list of states that allow same-sex marriage.
Related Resources for Alabama Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws
Not only is marriage a serious emotional decision, it can be a complicated legal process as well. You can contact Alabama divorce attorney if you would like legal assistance with a marriage or annulment matter. You can also visit FindLaw’s sections on Annulment, Divorce, and Alabama Family Law for additional articles and information on this topic.