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Wyoming Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws

Although it may seem simple, the legal proceedings surrounding marriage actually have strict rules. Each state has its own set of laws that relate to civil annulments and prohibited marriages. A prohibited marriage is void because the marriage was never legally valid to begin with. Commonly prohibited marriages include both bigamous and incestuous marriages. In bigamous marriages, a person tries to marry more than one spouse. In incestuous marriages, a person tries to marry a closely related family member.

civil annulment is a way to void a marriage. While both an annulment and a divorce end a marriage, an annulment wipes the slate clean as if there had been no marriage to begin with. By law, you usually need to get an annulment within a certain amount of time. So, it's important to know the laws and act promptly if you are considering annulling your marriage.

This article provides a brief overview of laws related to civil annulments and prohibited marriages in Wyoming.

Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws in Wyoming

Annulment and prohibited marriage statutes in Wyoming are highlighted in the chart below.

Grounds for Annulment

  • Either party may petition in the district court of the county where the parties or one of them reside, to annul a marriage upon due proof the marriage shall be declared void by a decree of nullity (W.Y. Stat. § 20-2-101)
  • At the time of marriage, the parties shall be at least 16 years old; all marriages involving a person under age 16 are prohibited and voidable; when either party is a minor, no license shall be granted without the consent of a parent or guardian having the care and control of the minor (W.Y. Stat. § 20-2-102)

Time Limits for Obtaining Annulment

Prohibited Marriages

  • Marriages contracted in Wyoming are void without any decree of divorce: when either party has a spouse living at the time of contracting marriage; when either party is mentally incompetent at the time of contracting the marriage; when the parties stand in relation to each other of parent and child, grandparent and grandchild, brother or sister of half or whole blood, uncle and niece, aunt and nephew, or first cousins (W.Y. Stat. § 20-2-101)
  • Marriages are voidable if solemnized when either party was under the age of legal consent unless a judge gave consent, if they separate during nonage and did not cohabit together afterward, or if the consent of one of the parties was obtained by force or fraud and there was no subsequent voluntary cohabitation of the parties (W.Y. Stat. § 20-2-101)
  • A person commits bigamy if, being married and knowing that their spouse is alive, they marry again; it is a defense that the accused person reasonably believed they were eligible to remarry; bigamy is a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both (W.Y. § 6-4-401)

Same-Sex Marriages

  • 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. 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.

Related Resources: Civil Annulments and Prohibited Marriages

For more information and resources regarding this topic, you can visit FindLaw's section on AnnulmentDivorce, and Wyoming Family Laws.

Next Step: 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 family law attorney. An experienced attorney can view the specific facts of your case and give you legal advice using the relevant laws of your state.

If you would like legal assistance with a marriage case, you can contact a Wyoming divorce attorney.

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