annulment


annulment
/euh nul"meuhnt/, n.
1. the act of annulling, esp. the formal declaration that annuls a marriage.
2. Psychoanal. a mental process by which unpleasant or painful ideas are abolished from the mind.
[1485-95; ANNUL + -MENT or < MF annulement]

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Legal invalidation of a marriage.

It announces the invalidity of a marriage that was void from its inception. It is to be distinguished from dissolution or divorce. To justify annulment, the marriage contract must have a defect (e.g., incompetence of one party because of age, insanity, or a preexisting marriage). Continued absence of one party may also justify annulment. Generally, annulment is easier if the marriage is unconsummated. Both secular law and Christian canon law have annulment procedures.

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law
      legal invalidation of a marriage. Annulment announces the invalidity of a marriage that was void from its inception. It is to be distinguished from dissolution, which ends a valid marriage for special reasons—e.g., insanity of one partner after marrying. The annulment decree attempts to leave the parties in statu quo ante (as they were before the marriage), unless doing so would adversely affect a third person.

      In secular law, only the government, through its courts, can invalidate a marriage; and generally only a party to the marriage can seek annulment. Christian canon law also has procedures for invalidating marriages.

      To justify annulment, there must be a defect in the marriage contract—e.g., incompetence of one party because of age, insanity, or a pre-existing marriage. Continued absence of one party also justifies annulment. Thus, in some places, one party may get an annulment if the other is sentenced to a long prison term. Generally, annulment is easier if the marriage is unconsummated.

      In annulment lawsuits, the validity of the marriage must be clearly disproved. The so-called clean hands doctrine figures heavily in such cases, meaning that the conduct of the person seeking the annulment must be fair and above suspicion if he is to prevail. Thus, a party who knew the partner was underage but proceeded with the marriage would probably be denied annulment.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • annulment — an·nul·ment /ə nəl mənt/ n 1: the act of annulling: the state of being annulled 2: a declaration by a court that a marriage is invalid compare divorce Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • Annulment — An*nul ment, n. [Cf. F. annulement.] The act of annulling; abolition; invalidation. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • annulment — To make void or to cancel. (Dictionary of Canadian Bankruptcy Terms) United Glossary of Bankruptcy Terms 2012 …   Glossary of Bankruptcy

  • annulment — (n.) late 15c., act of reducing to nothing; see ANNUL (Cf. annul) + MENT (Cf. ment). Meaning act of declaring invalid is recorded from 1864 …   Etymology dictionary

  • annulment — [n] voiding an agreement abatement, abolition, abrogation, annihilation, breakup, cancellation, countermanding, dedomiciling, deletion, discharge, dissolution, erasing, going phfft*, invalidation, negation, neutralization, nullification,… …   New thesaurus

  • annulment — [ə nul′mənt] n. 1. an annulling or being annulled 2. an invalidation, as of a marriage, by the decree of a court …   English World dictionary

  • Annulment — Family law Entering into marriag …   Wikipedia

  • annulment — n. 1) to grant an annulment 2) to obtain an annulment * * * [ə nʌlmənt] to grant an annulment to obtain an annulment …   Combinatory dictionary

  • annulment — [[t]ənʌ̱lmənt[/t]] annulments N VAR The annulment of a contract or marriage is an official declaration that it is invalid, so that legally it is considered never to have existed. ...the annulment of the elections... He may appeal to the Pope for… …   English dictionary

  • annulment — To nullify, to abolish, to make void by competent authority. An annulment differs from a divorce in that a divorce terminates a legal status, whereas an annulment establishes that a marital status never existed. Whealton v. Whealton, 67 Cal.2d… …   Black's law dictionary