Annulments & Invalid Marriages In Tennessee

Under Tennessee law, a marriage is considered to be valid if both spouses are capable of understanding what they are committing to and the marriage is performed by an authorized individual during a ceremony.

What Does It Mean To Be Capable?

To be considered capable under the terms of the law, each spouse must be found to be of sound mind and able to understand what marriage entails. In addition to this, both parties must be over the age of 16 and must not be lineally related in any way. Neither party may hold a valid marriage with another partner and they must be of the opposite sex. When the married parties obtain a marriage license, it must be issued by the county where the wife resides or where the ceremony took place.

What Constitutes A Valid Ceremony?

In order for a ceremony to be considered valid under the terms of the law, a declaration must be made by both parties indicating that they acknowledge each other as husband and wife. This must be done in the presence of a person authorized to preside over marriages, which can include rabbis, preachers, priests, ministers, other religious or spiritual leaders over the age of 18, all judges or former judges and clerks, and members of the county assembly.

What Happens If These Qualifications Are Not Met?

A marriage may be deemed void or at least voidable if any of the conditions above are not met by the participating parties. It's important to know that void marriages are not eligible to be ratified, such as in cases where both parties are too closely related. If the marriage is voidable, on the other hand, ratification may be an option if it's possible to correct the fault presently affecting the validity of the marriage.

If a marriage was never considered valid in the first place, then an annulment is likely to be granted. Under state law, grounds for an annulment include:

  • Evidence suggests that either party was under the age of 16 when the marriage took place.
  • Either party had a prior marriage that is still valid.
  • A violation of the Marriage Act occurred.
  • Marital rights were denied.
  • Either party is considered to be mentally incapacitated.
  • The husband is considered to be impotent.
  • The marriage was entered into under duress or fraud.

Get Our Help Today

If you have questions about the validity of your marriage, don't hesitate to contact McKellar & Easter, Attorneys at Law, for answers to your questions and guidance through the legal process. We have considerable experience handling a wide variety of family law matters, including annulments, and are confident we can help you through your legal troubles.

To make an appointment at our office in Knoxville, Tennessee, call 865-566-0125 or fill out this contact form. Initial telephone consultations are free and we accept credit cards.