Annulments and prohibited marriages are two different concepts. A prohibited marriage is void. Because the marriage was never lawful, there's no need to get an annulment or divorce. Some common types of prohibited marriages in the U.S. are bigamous and incestuous marriages.
An annulment isn't a void marriage, just a voidable marriage. For example, a 14-year-old girl who marries a 30-year-old without parental or court permission could void her marriage.
An annulment and a divorce both end a marriage. An annulment is like the marriage never happened. For some people, annulment is the only choice because of religious reasons. But you often have to get an annulment within a specific time, such as six months after discovering a condition like impotence.
The following chart explains the main annulment and prohibited marriage laws in New Mexico.
||NMSC § 40-1-7 and § 40-1-9 prohibit marriage between the following:
NMSC § 40-1-9 prohibits marriages of underage persons, except under some circumstances.
- Relations and children, including grandparents and grandchildren
- Brothers and sisters
- Uncles and nieces
- Aunts and nephews
||First cousins can legally marry in New Mexico without age limits.
||Under NMSC § 30-10-1, knowingly being married to at least two people at the same time is bigamy. Bigamy is a fourth-degree felony.
||Same-sex marriage has been legal in New Mexico since December 2013. The U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges made same-sex marriage legal nationwide in 2015.
|Common Law Marriage
||New Mexico doesn't recognize common-law marriages.
|Grounds for Annulment
||Under NMSC §§ 40-1-6 and 7, marriage between prohibited relatives or where one party is underage can be annulled. Under NMSC § 40-1-9, these marriages won't be declared void or annulled except by a court order.
|Time Limits for Obtaining Annulment
||NMSC § 40-1-9 allows a minor to ask the court for an annulment of a marriage they entered into underage, as long as it's before they become a legal adult at 18.
|Legitimacy of Children
||Children are “legitimate" even if the marriage is declared void.
Note: State laws, including New Mexico law, change frequently. Please get in touch with a lawyer or research the law independently to verify the information in this table.
An experienced New Mexico family law attorney can advise you if you're concerned that your marriage is invalid or if you want an annulment.
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