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Oregon Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws

Though it may seem simple, the legal proceedings surrounding marriage actually have strict rules. Each state has its own set of 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, in when a person tries to marry more than one spouse, or incestuous marriages, when 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 an annulment.

This article provides a brief overview of annulment and prohibited marriages in the state of Oregon.

Oregon Annulment and Prohibited Marriages Laws

The details of Oregon's annulment and prohibited marriage statutes are listed in the chart below.

Grounds for Annulment

  • A judgment for the annulment or dissolution of a marriage may be rendered when either party to the marriage was incapable of making the marriage contract or consenting to the marriage for want of legal age or sufficient understanding or when the consent of either party was obtained by force or fraud (O.R.S. § 107.015)
  • A marriage may be declared void from the beginning of any of the causes specified in O.R.S. § 106.020 and shall be deemed and held void in any action (O.R.S. § 107.005)
  • When either party to a marriage is incapable of making such contract or consenting thereto for want of legal age or sufficient understanding, or when the consent of either party is obtained by force or fraud, such marriage shall be void from the time it is so declared by judgment of a court having jurisdiction (O.R.S. § 106.030)

Legitimacy of Children

All children conceived or born of parents who are unlawfully married are legitimate (O.R.S. § 106.190)

Prohibited Marriages

  • The following marriages are prohibited and absolutely void: when either party had a spouse living at the time of the marriage or when the parties are first cousins or any nearer of kin to each other, whether of half or whole blood (O.R.S. § 106.020)
  • A person commits the crime of bigamy if the person knowingly marries or purports to marry another person at a time when either is lawfully married, and it is a class C felony (O.R.S. § 163.515)
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 clause, legalizing same-sex marriage in every state, including Oregon.

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.

Oregon Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws: Related Resources

Whether you're beginning your marriage journey and wondering if you can get married, or you're if and how you can end your marriage, the law regarding marriage can be complicated. You can find more information and resources in FindLaw's sections on AnnulmentDivorce, and Oregon Family Law.

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 case and give you legal advice using the relevant laws of your jurisdiction.

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

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