New Hampshire Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws

State laws and regulations govern annulments, prohibited marriages, and other legal aspects of matrimony. Types of marriages often prohibited by state laws include those entered under duress, unions between close relatives, and marriages in which one party is still married to another person.

If you entered into a prohibited marriage, perhaps you discovered that your partner is already married, then you may seek to have the marriage annulled. Annulment is different than divorce in that it is granted by a judge and has the legal effect of "erasing" the marriage as if it never existed. You may seek an annulment if the marriage should not have been granted in the first place, not just to reverse a bad decision.

Annulment and Prohibited Marriage in New Hampshire: An Overview

Under New Hampshire statute, a couple (or just one partner) may seek an annulment for a number of reasons, including lack of consent and familial relations. New Hampshire also permits same-sex couples to get married in the state, with the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual couples. In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that denial of marriage to same-sex couples was a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection clause, but New Hampshire's laws did not require modification.

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

Code Sections 457:1,2; 458:1, 23
Grounds for Annulment
  • Lack of parent or guardian's consent (if under the age of 18)
  • Fraud or marriage under false pretense
  • Marriage was coerced
  • Marriage illegal because spouses are too closely related
  • Previous marriage undissolved
Time Limits for Obtaining Annulment -
Legitimacy of Children Issue of incestuous marriage are treated as children of unwed parents unless while married it was valid in the jurisdiction where contracted, then children are legitimate; legitimacy not affected by decree of nullity
Prohibited Marriages Between ancestor and descendant, brother and sister, uncle and niece, aunt and nephew, cousins; previous marriage undissolved; proxy marriages

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time through the enactment of newly signed legislation or other means. While we strive to maintain the accuracy of these pages, you should also contact a New Hampshire family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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New Hampshire Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws: Related Resources

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