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Nebraska Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws

Marriage is regulated primarily at the state level. To varying degrees, laws related to marriage can vary from one state to the next. They prohibit certain kinds of marriage, while also setting age limits for getting married without parental consent. At the same time, each state sets laws and rules for obtaining a civil annulment.

Annulment is different than divorce in that it is granted by a judge only if the marriage is invalid. When a marriage is determined to be legally invalid, it is as if the marriage never existed in the first place. For instance, a marriage entered into under fraudulent terms is not valid and may be annulled.

Civil Annulments and Prohibited Marriages in Nebraska: An Overview

Nebraska marriages may be annulled if one of the parties is underage, for reasons of impotence, if consent was obtained by force, and for other reasons. While certain states formerly prohibited same-sex marriages, they can no longer do so as same-sex marriage is legal across the country. In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that bans on same-sex marriage violate the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection clause. In that year, the U.S. Supreme Court did so in a case called Obergefell v. Hodges.

The following chart lists additional details on laws in Nebraska which are related to civil annulments and prohibited marriages. See FindLaw's Marriage Law section to learn more.

Grounds for Annulment

Under 42-374, the following are reasons a person may pursue a civil annulment:
  • A relevant law prohibits a type of marriage
  • At the time of the marriage, either party is impotent
  • A spouse is already married at the time of the marriage
  • A spouse is incapable of consent at the time of the marriage due to mental illness or because of mental incompetence
  • The marriage was entered into by force or fraud
Under 42-102, the following types of marriage are prohibited:
  • If a person is under the age of consent at the time of the marriage and the consent of a parent or guardian has not been obtained
  • If a spouse has a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or sexually transmitted infection (STI) at the time of the marriage
Under 42-118, the following types of marriage remain legally valid if the parties live together despite each issue raised below:
  • If the parties are under the age of consent
  • If the marriage was entered into by fraud or force

Time Limits for Obtaining Annulment

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Legitimacy of Children

Generally speaking, children that are born to annulled marriages are considered legitimate.

Prohibited Marriages

  • Under 28-701, bigamous marriages are prohibited. Bigamous marriages occur when a person marries a spouse while already being legally married to another person. For more information, review the law that is linked immediately above.
  • Under 42-103, the following types of marriage are also legally invalid:
    • When one of the spouses is already married to a living spouse at the time of the marriage
    • When a person is mentally incompetent at the time of the marriage
    • Incestuous marriages, which are marriages between closely related family members

Note: State laws are subject to change through ballot initiatives, newly passed legislation, decisions from higher courts, and other means. You should contact a Nebraska family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

Consider reviewing the following resources for more information about laws in Nebraska, including those relate to civil annulments and prohibited marriages:

  • At Nebraska Law, you'll find links to all laws in the state, including those related to civil annulments and prohibited marriages.
  • At Official State Codes, you'll find links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Civil Annulments and Prohibited Marriages: Related Resources

Consider reviewing the following resources for more information about laws and legal issues related to civil annulments, prohibited marriages, and marriage in general:

Need More Help? Contact an Attorney Today

If you're considering a civil annulment or are in a marriage that is prohibited by law or legally invalid, it can be difficult to navigate the legal issues that you may be in your future. For more help, you may want to contact a qualified family law attorney near you. They can help you with all the legal issues that occur under such circumstances.

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