Vermont Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws

State laws dictate the grounds under which an annulment may be granted and which types of marriage are prohibited, such as marriage between close family members or where a previous marriage was not ended either through a divorce or death. In Vermont, annulment and prohibited marriage laws are very similar to those of other states.

Vermont Annulments

In order to obtain an annulment, you must be able to establish that you fall within one of the statutory exceptions that allows your marriage to be declared "invalid." Theses include:

  • One or both spouses was under the age of 16 years old at the time of the ceremony.
  • If a spouse was mentally or physically incapable of making a reasonable decision during the ceremony, they were not able to give informed consent.
  • A relationship which was entered into as the result of physical threat or intimidation is grounds for annulment of marriage in Vermont.

What If Our Church Recognizes the Annulment?

While you may obtain annulments of marriage in Vermont through the Catholic church or another religious institution, this change in your status will not be recognized by the state.

Vermont Prohibited Marriages

In Vermont, certain types of marriages are prohibited. These include marrying your first cousin or other close family member such as a sibling or parent. In addition, you can't get married if you already have a spouse. You'll have to have a formal divorce first. Also, you have to be of legal age or you'll need parental permission.

Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex marriage is now legal in the Vermont. In 2009, a U.S. a law went into effect granting same sex couples the freedom to marry in the state. The 2015 Supreme Court Decision in Obergefell v. Hodges subsequently made same-sex marriages available in all 50 states.

The basics of Vermont's annulment and prohibited marriage laws are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Marriage Law Overview section for additional articles.

Code Sections Tit. 15 §§511, et seq.; 15 §§1,2,3,4
Grounds for Annulment Under 16; mental incapacity; physically incapable of marriage state; consent had by force or fraud
Time Limits for Obtaining Annulment Underage: Until parties obtain legal age and cohabit; Idiocy: Anytime during their life (unless restored to reason and cohabit); Physical incapacity: 2 yrs. from marriage; Consent by force or fraud: Anytime unless parties before commencement of action voluntarily cohabit
Legitimacy of Children Children of annulled marriage are legitimate
Prohibited Marriages Between ancestor and descendant, brother and sister, aunt and nephew, uncle and niece; prohibitions apply even after divorce has dissolved relationship unless marriage was void or unlawful; living husband or wife

Note: Vermont annulment and prohibited marriage laws are constantly changing--contact a Vermont family law attorney , or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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