State laws and regulations govern annulments, prohibited marriages, and other legal aspects of matrimony. Types of marriages often prohibited by state laws include those entered under duress, unions between close relatives, and marriages in which one party is still married to another person.
If you entered into a prohibited marriage, perhaps you discovered that your partner is already married, then you may seek to have the marriage annulled. An annulment is different than a divorce in that it is granted by a judge and has the legal effect of "erasing" the marriage as if it never existed. You may seek an annulment if the marriage should not have been granted in the first place, not just to reverse a bad decision.
This article provides a brief overview of annulment and prohibited marriage laws in New Hampshire.
Annulment and Prohibited Marriage in New Hampshire: An Overview
The following chart lists additional details on New Hampshire laws regarding annulment and prohibited marriage. See FindLaw's Marriage Law section to learn more.
|Grounds for Annulment
- If any doubt exists whether any marriage is void, or as to the effect of any former decree of divorce or nullity between the parties, a petition may be filed as in other cases, and a decree of divorce of nullity may be made (N.H. Rev. Stat. § 458:2)
- No person shall marry their father, mother, father's sibling, mother's sibling, child, sibling, child's children, niece, nephew, or cousin (N.H. Rev. Stat. § 457:2)
- No person below the age of 16 shall be capable of contracting a valid marriage, and all marriages contracted by such persons shall be null and void (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 457:4)
- All marriages prohibited by law on account of the consanguinity or affinity of the parties, or where either has a former wife or husband living, knowing such spouse to be alive and knowing that their marriage hadn't been legally dissolved, shall be absolutely void without any legal process (N.H. Rev. Stat. § 458:1)
- The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) established that bans on same-sex marriages in any state violate the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause. With this ruling, same-sex marriages were legalized.
- On December 13, 2022, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. also signed into law the Respect for Marriage Act, which codified laws related to protections for same-sex marriage.
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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New Hampshire Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws: Related Resources
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 divorce attorney. An experienced attorney can view the specific facts of your separation and give legal advice using the relevant laws of your state as guidance.
Get started by speaking to a New Hampshire family law attorney today.