Las Vegas, Nevada is the Mecca of marriages, but, unfortunately, many of them are done in haste or under the influence of intoxicating substances, and prove to be regretted afterwards. This makes Las Vegas, NV a leader in annulments, also. Annulments can only be obtained under certain circumstances under Nevada law. It’s best to have an experienced annulment attorney on your side.
What is a marriage annulment? This dissolution of marriage process differs from divorce in that it addresses defects in a marital relationship occurring at the time of the formation of that relationship. Thus, if a marriage is illegally formed, when it is annulled, the parties regain their legal rights and responsibilities as they existed before the marriage occurred. By contrast, a divorce deals with problems in a marital relationship arising after the marriage is formed. Traditionally, after a divorce, the parties have continuing legal status as ex-spouses involving division of property, child custody and alimony.
The Nevada Legislature Statutes regarding annulments reads as follows:
NRS 125.330 Cause for annulment: Want of understanding. 1. When either of the parties to a marriage for want of understanding shall be incapable of assenting thereto, the marriage shall be void from the time its nullity shall be declared by a court of competent authority. 2. The marriage of any insane person shall not be adjudged void, after his restoration to reason, if it shall appear that the parties freely cohabited together as husband and wife after such insane person was restored to a sound mind.
NRS 125.340 Cause for annulment: Fraud. 1. If the consent of either party was obtained by fraud and fraud has been proved, the marriage shall be void from the time its nullity shall be declared by a court of competent authority. 2. No marriage may be annulled for fraud if the parties to the marriage voluntarily cohabit as husband and wife having received knowledge of such fraud.
NRS 125.350 Cause for annulment: Grounds for declaring contract void in equity. A marriage may be annulled for any cause which is a ground for annulling or declaring void a contract in a court of equity.
The gist of these statutes is that Nevada generally allows marriage annulment under two circumstances (three if you count void in equity, which is a much more lengthy discussion): Fraud and Want of Understanding: Want of Understanding is the legal mechanism that allows marriages that were done under the influence of alcohol (or other substances) to be annulled. This same legal mechanism would allow for dissolution of marriage by annulment if a person were temporarily insane and later regained sanity.
Annulment by Fraud requires that consent to the marriage had to have been obtained by fraud. This means that the fraud has to be related to a basis that consent to the marriage was given. For instance, if the parties contemplated a family, and this was a basis for consent to marriage, and after the marriage one of the parties stated they never wanted a family, this could qualify.
Is changing one’s mind fraud? Obviously, no; this is why annulments by fraud can be difficult to prove.
In both cases, a marriage annulment cannot be obtained if the parties continue to live together after the fraud has been uncovered or the person has been restored to sane mind.
In most cases, the Courts in Clark County will grant an annulment if both parties agree that one of the necessary elements occurred.
If you have questions about the dissolution of marriage process or another family law matter in the Las Vegas, Nevada area, contact our office at 702.565.4335 and set up a consultation with one of our experienced annulment lawyers.