As long as the marriage is considered valid, the state has little interest in who one chooses to marry. But in order to be considered valid, a marriage may not be prohibited by state law. These laws generally prohibit marriage between close relatives, if one of the parties is already married, if the marriage was obtained under duress, and other reasons. Annulment, meanwhile, has the legal effect of "erasing" the marriage as if it never existed, a legal process set aside to undo marriages that should not have been granted in the first place.
Alaska was among the dwindling minority of states attempting to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples, but many state and federal courts challenges to the constitutionality of these laws (based on the federal Equal Protection Clause under the Fourteenth Amendment) have resulted in Alaska's law being overturned by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and later by a Supreme Court decision that ruled that bans of the sort are unconstitutional in any state. Consequently, Alaska and all other states currently permit same-sex marriage.
Annulment and Prohibited Marriage in Alaska: Overview
The following chart lists additional details about Alaska's laws regarding annulment and prohibited marriages. See FindLaw's Marriage Law section to learn more.
||25.05.01, et seq.; 25.20.050, 25.24.030
|Grounds for Annulment
||Underage; insufficient understanding for consent; consent was obtained by force or fraud; party fails to consummate; either party of unsound min
|Legitimacy of Children
||Children legitimate if parents subsequently marry; if acknowledged in writing by father and mother, or by adjudication of paternity by court
||Either party has living spouse at time; parties related closer than fourth degree of consanguinity
||Alaska's 1998 constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman was ruled unconstitutional by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2014. The U.S. Supreme Court also ruled state bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional in the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the enactment of newly signed legislation and voter-approved ballot initiatives, higher court decisions, and other means. You should contact an Alaska family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Alaska Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws: Related Resources