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Virginia Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws

Annulment is different than divorce, in that it essentially "erases" a marriage that either by law or by choice should not have occured. For example, anyone who enters into marriage out of fraud may have that marriage annuled without having to go through divorce court. Similarly, someone whose partner is impotent also has the right to an annulment. In Virginia, annulment and prohibited marriage laws outlaw same-sex marriage, in addition to blood relations and those with undissolved previous marriages.

Learn more about Virginia annultment and prohibited marriage laws in the section below. See FindLaw's Marriage Law Overview section for additional information.

Code Section 20-38.1; 20-43; 20-45.1, 2; 20-89.1; §20-31.1
Grounds for Annulment Mentally incapacitated; fraud; duress; impotency; if without other's knowledge: either convicted of felony before marriage; if without other's knowledge: wife pregnant by another man, husband fathered another child born within 10 months after marriage; either had been a prostitute; no annulment allowed for fraud, duress, mental incapacity, felony, pregnancy or fathering if parties cohabited after knowledge
Time Limits for Obtaining Annulment All actions must be brought within 2 yrs. of marriage
Legitimacy of Children Children of prohibited marriages are legitimate
Prohibited Marriages Previous marriage undissolved; between ancestor and descendant, brother and sister, uncle and niece, aunt and nephew (half or whole blood); same sex; bigamous; parties under 18 and have not complied with consent provisions

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Virginia family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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