You may be wondering if you're eligible for marriage, or you may be trying to end one. Or maybe curious as to whether your marriage was legal in the first place. Learning about marriage annulments and what kind of marriages are prohibited can help. The legal proceedings regarding marriage generally have strict rules, which can vary from state to state. Here's a brief summary of annulment and prohibited marriage laws in Wyoming.
Annulments and Prohibited Marriages
Many of us dream about the day we'll get married, but not every union between two people is allowed, and each state has its own set of annulment and prohibited marriage laws that prohibit marriage in certain circumstances. Wyoming's laws, for example, mentions time limits for obtaining annulments. If the parties were underage, for instance, the time limit is until the couple cohabits upon reaching age of consent. If the annulment was due to physical incapacity, however, it lasts until 2 years after marriage
Annulment Laws in Wyoming
Annulment and prohibited marriage statutes in Wyoming are highlighted in the chart below.
|Grounds for Annulment
||Prohibited marriages; underage; physical incapacity; fraud or duress with no subsequent voluntary cohabitation 20-2-101(c)
|Time Limits for Obtaining Annulment
||Underage: Until couple cohabits upon reaching age of consent; Physical incapacity: Until 2 yrs. after marriage
|Legitimacy of Children
||Legitimacy not affected by dissolution
Previous marriage undissolved; party mentally incompetent; between ancestor and descendant, brother and sister, uncle and niece, aunt and nephew, first cousins (does not apply to relations by affinity)
Same-sex marriage had been prohibited by statutes enacted in 1977 and 2003. A 2013 attempt to create domestic partnerships as an alternative failed to pass, as did attempts to legislate against recognition of same-sex marriages from other jurisdiction, and a constitutional amendment. A 2014 Circuit Court of Appeals decision found same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court declined appeal of this decision and same-sex marriages became available later that year.
In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard Obergefell v. Hodges and ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. Unless there is further litigation, which is entirely possible and perhaps even likely given the contentiousness surrounding the issue, same-sex marriage is currently available in all states.
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Wyoming divorce attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Remember that annulment is distinct from divorce in that a divorce terminates a previously valid marriage. The key to an annulment is that the marriage was never a valid one in the eyes of the law. As in divorce, however, in annulment cases the court may award custody of children of the marriage and require payment of child support and support of a party.
Legal Grounds for Annulment
Courts in most states will order that a marriage be annulled if one of the following situations can be established:
- Mental Illness, Insanity or Retardation
- Temporary Insanity
- Lack of Consent or Duress
- Inability to consummate the marriage (or "impotency")
- Lack of parental consent for an underage marriage
- One of the people is already married (bigamy)
- Incestuous marriage
So whether you're wondering if you can get married, making the decision to end a marriage, or questioning whether or not your marriage was legal to begin with, marriage law can be complicated. If you would like legal assistance with a marriage case, you can contact Wyoming divorce attorney. You can also visit FindLaw's sections on Annulment and Divorce for more articles and resources on this topic.