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Louisiana Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws

Though it may seem simple, the legal proceedings surrounding marriage actually have strict rules, with each state having its own annulment and prohibited marriage laws that prohibit marriages under certain circumstances. A prohibited marriage is void because the marriage was never lawful. Generally, there's no need to get an annulment or divorce in these cases. Commonly prohibited marriages typically include bigamous marriages, where a person tries to marry more than one spouse, or incestuous marriages, where a person tries to marry a relative.

An annulment, on the other hand, is a way to void a marriage that would be otherwise invalid. While both an annulment and a divorce end a marriage, an annulment wipes the slate clean as if there was no marriage to begin with. However, you usually need to get an annulment within a certain time limit, so it is important to act promptly if you are considering obtaining an annulment.

This article provides a brief overview of annulment and prohibited marriage laws in the state of Louisiana.

Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws in Louisiana

Below, you'll find more information on Louisiana annulment and prohibited marriage laws, including a list of the types of marriages that are prohibited in Louisiana.

Grounds for Annulment
  • A marriage is absolutely null when contracted without a marriage ceremony, by procuration, or in violation of an impediment (La. Rev. Stat. Tit. IV, Art. 94)
  • A marriage is relatively null when the consent of one of the parties to marry is not freely given; the marriage may not be declared null if that party confirmed the marriage after recovering their liberty or regaining their discernment (La. Rev. Stat. Tit. IV, Art. 95)
  • Consent is not freely given if the person is under duress or when given by a person incapable of discernment (La. Rev. Stat. Tit. IV, Art. 93)
Legitimacy of Children A child of a marriage contracted in good faith is legitimate (La. Rev. Stat. Tit. IV, Art. 96)
Prohibited Marriages
  • The following persons may not contract marriage with each other: (1) ascendants and descendants and (2) collaterals within the fourth degree, whether of the whole or half blood; the impediment exists whether the persons are related by consanguinity or by adoption (La. Civ. Code art. 90)
  • A minor under the age of 16 may not contract marriage and a minor 16 or 17 years old may not contract marriage with a person of the age of majority when there is an age difference of three years or greater between them (La. Civ. Code art. 90.1)
  • A marriage may not be contracted by procuration (La. Civ. Code art. 92)
  • A married person may not contract another marriage (La. Civ. Code art. 88)
Same-Sex Marriages The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) established that bans on same-sex marriage violated the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection laws, legalizing same-sex marriages in every state, including Louisiana.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Related Resources: Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws

Next Steps: Speak to a Family Law Attorney

If you are considering annulling your marriage or have questions regarding its legitimacy, you should speak to a local family law attorney. An experienced attorney can view the specific facts of your case and apply the law of your jurisdiction.

Get started by speaking to a local family law attorney today.

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