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Arkansas Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws

For the most part, the institution of marriage is regulated on a state-by-state basis. However, as with all state laws, sometimes federal courts intervene and rule certain state laws unconstitutional, as we have seen with state bans on same-sex marriage (which violate equal protection under the U.S. Constitution). State laws also set age limits for getting married without parental consent; determine the manner in which annulments are obtained; prohibit certain kinds of marriages; and other aspects of familial relationships.

Such laws typically change along with changing social mores, typically in line with regional cultural differences.

Overview of Arkansas Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws

According to Arkansas statute, a married couple may seek an annulment if they lacked consent, were unable to consummate the marriage, if fraud was involved, if the parties were underage at the time of the marriage, or where incest is involved. The Arkansas Constitution prohibits marriage between members of the same sex, although both state and federal courts have ruled the amendment unconstitutional. The state Supreme Court has yet to issue its ruling as of January 2015.

The following chart lists additional details on Arkansas laws regarding annulment and prohibited marriage. See FindLaw's Marriage Law section to learn more.

Code Section 9-11-104 through 9-11-109; 9-12-101 through 9-12-102
Grounds for Annulment Incapable of consent due to age or understanding; incapable for physical causes; if consent obtained by fraud or force; underage; incest
Time Limits for Obtaining Annulment Parents or guardians can annul marriage where consent was not provided or age misrepresented
Legitimacy of Children -
Prohibited Marriages Male must be 17 years of age, female must be 16; incestuous marriage, same sex marriages (The state's constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman has been ruled unconstitutional by state and federal courts; it is currently under review by the Arkansas Supreme Court.)

Note: State laws are always subject to change, particularly those that restrict marriage equality (which typically are affected by a combination of federal and state higher court rulings). You may want to contact an Arkansas family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Arkansas Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws: Related Resources

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