What is an “annulment?
An “annulment” is a court finding that a marriage is invalid. In Kansas, a marriage can be “annulled” if the marriage is either “void” or “voidable.”
A “void” marriage is a marriage that was prohibited by the laws of the state in which the couple was married. Examples are marriages between a couple too closely related (first cousins or closer in Kansas) and marriage between two people when one of them is still married to another person. If a marriage is “void,” Kansas courts must grant a requested annulment.
A “voidable” marriage is a marriage that may be invalidated by one of the parties to the marriage because of some “material fact” that existed when the couple married. Examples of “voidable” marriages are a marriage in which one (or both) parties did not know about a “material fact” that existed when they entered into the marriage that would have led them not to marry if that fact had been known (called a “mistake of fact”), or when one party was caused to enter the marriage by a fraudulent representation. If a marriage is “voidable,” Kansas courts may, but are not required to, grant a requested annulment.
A marriage usually cannot be “annuled” merely because the parties have not been married “for very long.” A marriage is not “void” or “voidable” because one or both parties to the marriage decide it wasn’t what they should have done, they don’t like the person they married, or because the marriage “was a mistake.”