If I have been married for less than 3 months and my spouse lied to me about his age, does this meet the requirements toobtain an annulment?

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If I have been married for less than 3 months and my spouse lied to me about his age, does this meet the requirements toobtain an annulment?

Asked on August 8, 2011 Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your spouse was under the legal age of consent when you married, that would probably be grounds for an annulment--indeed, the marriage would probably be void from the very beginning, since someone under the age of consent cannot marry.

However, if, say, your spouse said that he was 24 when he was really 22, that might not be grounds for an annulment, since a difference of a few years at the point does not substantially go to the heart of the marriage--someone could marry a 21 year old as easily as a 24 year old. It becomes, if he was over the age of consent, an issue about how great the deception was and does it necessarily affect being married. For another example: say you thought he was 30 and it turns out he's 40...at  10 year gap could arguably affect your life arc together, whether he will want children, and other significant elements of being married.

So the short answer is, depending on the age gap and the absolute ages, the deception might or might not provide grounds for an annulment, and for a more definitive opinion, you need to check with a marriage or family law attorney who can evaluate all the circumstances in detail.

Also remember: even if you can't get an annulment, you can divorce.


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