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Nebraska Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws

Marriage is regulated primarily at the state level, including regulations prohibiting certain kinds of marriages and the rules for obtaining an annulment. In general, state laws on annulment and prohibited marriages differ quite a bit with respect to same-sex marriage, which also raises questions about the federal Equal Protection Clause under the Fourteenth Amendment. State marriage laws also set age limits for getting married without parental consent, determine the requirements for getting an annulment, prohibit certain kinds of marriages, and govern other aspects of the legal marriage contract.

Annulment is different than divorce in that it is granted by a judge only if the marriage is invalid, which means an annulled marriage is treated (legally) as if it never existed in the first place. For instance, a marriage entered under fraudulent terms is not valid and may be annulled.

Annulment and Prohibited Marriage in Nebraska: An Overview

Nebraska unions may be annulled if one of the parties is underage, for reaons of impotency, if consent was obtained by force, and for other reasons. Nebraska's ban on same-sex marriage was overturned by a federal court on March 2, 2015. Very shortly afterward, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the court definitively stated that bans on same-sex marriage and refusals to acknowledge the lawful same-sex marriages of other states both constituted violations of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection guarantees.

The following chart lists additional details on Nebraska laws regarding annulment and prohibited marriage. See FindLaw's Marriage Law section to learn more.

Code Sections 42-103, 118, 374, 377
Grounds for Annulment (if they separate during such nonage and do not cohabitation after); consent obtained by force or fraud and no subsequent cohabitation; impotency at time of marriage; previous marriage undissolved; mental illness or retardation at marriage; force or fraud; Underage
Time Limits for Obtaining Annulment -
Legitimacy of Children Children born to annulled marriages shall be legitimate unless otherwise decreed by court
Prohibited Marriages Marriage void when previous marriage undissolved; either party at marriage is mentally incompetent to enter marriage relation; between ancestor and descendant, brother and sister, first cousins (half and whole blood), uncle and niece, aunt and nephew (applies to all whether in or out of wedlock)

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.

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Nebraska Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws: Related Resources

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