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West Virginia Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws

When you’re planning your wedding you’re thinking of the person you love, and not the legal system that might not allow you to get married. While some marriages are prohibited entirely, others can be ruled invalid, or “annulled,” after the fact. Here is a quick introduction to annulment and prohibited marriage laws in West Virginia.

Annulments and Prohibited Marriages

State annulment and prohibited marriage laws may vary. Mountain State law permits annulments if one party has not had a previous marriage dissolved, has a venereal disease, or is impotent, and prohibits marriages between certain family relations.

Annulment Laws in West Virginia

The details of West Virginia’s annulment and prohibited marriage laws are listed below.

Code Sections

West Virginia Code 48-2-101, et seq.: Marriages

Grounds for Annulment

Previous marriage undissolved; within line of prohibited consanguinity; party insane; venereal disease; impotency; underage; convicted of infamous offense prior to marriage; wife with child of another man or had been a prostitute; spouse had been a licentious person

West Virginia Code 48-3-103: Voidable Marriages

Time Limits for Obtaining Annulment


Legitimacy of Children

Children of annulled or prohibited marriage are legitimate

West Virginia Code 42-1-7: Issue Legitimate Though Marriage Null;

Prohibited Marriages

Between ancestor and descendant, brother and sister, half-brother and half-sister, aunt and nephew, uncle and niece, first cousins, double cousins (unless relationship created solely by adoption)

West Virginia Code 48-2-302: Prohibition Against Marriage of Persons Related Within Certain Degrees;

Out of state marriage entered into to avoid State law

Same-Sex Marriage in West Virginia

West Virginia is one of many states that legalized same-sex marriages. While the state has a statute defining marriage as between a man and a woman, in 2014 the state Attorney General decided to no longer defend the state against a lawsuit brought by three same-sex couples. State agencies followed suit and began recognizing same-sex marriages.

This decision found nationwide support following the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, where the court found that state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. FindLaw’s Same-Sex Marriage section has the latest developments in same-sex marriage law, including a list of states that allow same-sex marriage.

More Resources for Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws in West Virginia

Marriage can be a serious decision, emotionally and legally. FindLaw’s sections on West Virginia Family Law, Annulment, and Divorce can provide you with additional articles and resources on this topic. You can also consult with a West Virginia divorce attorney in your area if you would like legal help regarding a marriage or annulment matter.

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