For the most part, the institution of marriage is regulated on a state-by-state basis. However, as with all state laws, sometimes federal courts intervene and rule certain state laws unconstitutional, as we have seen with state bans on same-sex marriage (which violate equal protection under the U.S. Constitution). State laws also set age limits for getting married without parental consent; determine the manner in which annulments are obtained; prohibit certain kinds of marriages; and other aspects of familial relationships.
Such laws tend to change along with shifting social mores, typically in line with regional cultural differences.
Overview of Arkansas Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws
According to Arkansas statute, a married couple may seek an annulment if they lacked consent, were unable to consummate the marriage, if fraud was involved, if the parties were underage at the time of the marriage, or where incest is involved. The Arkansas Constitution prohibited marriage between members of the same sex; however, both state and federal courts have ruled the amendment unconstitutional. In June of 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Obergefell v. Hodges, finding that state bans on same-sex marriage violate the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection clause.
The following chart lists additional details on Arkansas laws regarding annulment and prohibited marriage. See FindLaw's Marriage Law section to learn more.
||9-11-104 through 9-11-109; 9-12-101 through 9-12-102
|Grounds for Annulment
||Incapable of consent due to age or understanding; incapable for physical causes; if consent obtained by fraud or force; underage; incest
|Time Limits for Obtaining Annulment
||Parents or guardians can annul marriage where consent was not provided or age misrepresented
|Legitimacy of Children
||Child marriage (marriage under 17 is prohibited; those who are 17 need parental consent); incestuous marriage
Note: State laws are always subject to change, particularly those that restrict marriage equality. Even though the Obergefell case was meant to resolve many state-to-state differences; marriage remains a contentious issue and some states may develop legislation intending to circumvent the decision. You may want to contact an Arkansas family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Arkansas Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws: Related Resources