How to Annul a Marriage in Kentucky
If you live in Kentucky and came home from Vegas married to an Elvis impersonator, you can get the marriage annulled. That’s as long as you seek the annulment in Kentucky within 30 days, not after the kids are in college.
Annulling a marriage is different from divorce. Since Kentucky is a no-fault divorce state, many people don't realize that annulment is an option. DoNotPay can explain the difference, what are the grounds for annulment, and how you can seek one without paying an attorney.
What's the Difference Between Divorce and an Annulment?
A divorce terminates a marriage, divides property, and declares the spouses single and free to marry after the divorce is finalized. A marriage annulment legally voids the marriage. In the eyes of the laws of Kentucky and the rest of the country, it never happened. Since it didn't happen, there is no property to divide and settle—one of the main reasons divorcing couples need an attorney.
What Are the Grounds for an Annulment in Kentucky?
Not every annulment in Kentucky is the result of a rash decision made in the moment. An annulment is often the solution when a marriage was not entered into with conscious and legal consent of both parties, or when one partner did not have a clear picture of their spouse's intent. An annulment is not the same thing as a divorce, so there are standards to meet and a tight timeline for filing.
Here are the grounds for an annulment and some examples:
|Age of Consent||The age of consent to marry in Kentucky is 18. If a child marries and is not 18, they can file for an annulment. But, if they decide to keep living with their spouse after they turn 18, they are no longer eligible for an annulment and have to file for divorce instead|
|Fraud||One party misrepresented material facts to the other, such as a woman told her boyfriend she was pregnant and he agreed to marry. He can annul the marriage when he discovers she defrauded him.|
|Consent||If one spouse can't reasonably consent to the marriage, you have grounds for an annulment. This could include if one person is mentally ill and can't understand what marriage means. Ill-considered elopements also fall into this category, as intoxication is a reasonable ground for consent.|
|Force||If someone is coerced or forced into a marriage, it can be annulled. Examples of force would include blackmail, or when one party holds some sort of leverage over the other.|
|Incest||In Kentucky, first cousins are not allowed to marry. The relationship cannot be any closer than second cousins (your cousin’s children) for marriage to be legal.|
|Bigamy||One spouse at a time is the rule in Kentucky. If one party already has a living spouse, another marriage is considered bigamy. The previously married spouse must be legally declared divorced in order to remarry|
|Physical Incapacity||If one spouse is physically incapable of consummating the marriage, an annulment is allowed. This is not to say that a marriage must be consummated to be legal, but if there is also some mental incapacity, this is a lower bar to clear than consent.|
|Judicial discretion||The courts in Kentucky grant judges some leeway in granting annulments that don't meet the grounds that are set in the statutes. If they believe a marriage should be completely set aside, they have that authority.|
What's the Time Limit for Filing?
You have 90 days from discovery (when you found that the marriage met the criteria to annul) to file the petition if the reason was one of the following three:
- Mental incapacity
- Fraud or force
You have one year if the marriage is prohibited due to circumstances like:
- One spouse being underage
How Do I File for an Annulment?
One party to the marriage, a parent, or guardian needs to file a petition for annulment at the circuit court of the county of residence. The petitioning spouse has to complete the form, including providing the grounds for an annulment instead of a divorce. You can download the annulment form online or go to your county courthouse for a paper copy. The petition has to be filed in person. The court costs for an annulment are $139, although this does not include notary public fees.
Here's how DoNotPay can help you get your paperwork in order to file the petition.
1. Search for Annulment on the DoNotPay website.
2. Kick off the process to see if your marriage is eligible for an annulment.
3. Answer some specific questions about your marriage and see if your state law allows for an annulment.
DoNotPay Can Help You With Other Annulment-Related Tasks
An annulment isn't as simple as filing one document; there are other things that need to be unwound to truly sever the relationship. DoNotPay cuts through the red tape that makes all this legal stuff so exhausting. We can also help with:
If you're divorcing, we'll save you thousands in attorney's fees by helping with a settlement agreement or divorce certificate. We can even help you file the paperwork to stop stalking and harassment, so you don't have to fear so much for your safety.